ANB Futbol, led by a Kelsey Araujo brace, kicked off their 2015 campaign with a well deserved 3-0 win over Pro Stars F.C., and brought to a close a a fantastic opening day for the League1 Ontario Women's Division - Canada's first semi-professional league for women.
"It's tough to pick just one player of the game because I thought they all did well," said head coach Marcelo Almeida. "I would highlight Kelsey Araujo for obvious reasons. Cat Rogers was our captain and was on the ball all night, helping lead the team throughout the game. Our 'keeper, Taylor Taffo, made some key stops throughout the game and was fearless."
Pro Stars coach Benjamin Falkenstein also identified ANB's Cat Rogers as MVP, while Almeida highlighted PFC's Nadia Pestell as having an outstanding performance.
"Pestell kept our wide players on their toes with her runs up the sideline," said Almeida. "She worked very hard throughout the game."
Falkenstein pointed to an unfortunate turnover in the PFC box to give away the first goal, and a general lack of ability to keep the ball or finish their chances as key reasons for Pro Stars' loss.
Despite the scoreline, Almeida made it clear that there were some signficant challenges for his side.
"A big challenge for us was to keep our composure throughout the game. We also missed various opportunities early in the second half to seal the victory," revealed Almeida.
"Additionally, considering the size of the field, and our thin bench, I was concerned for the fitness of the players. I needed to manage their energy carefully and instructed them not to go needlessly chasing balls they could not reach," Almeida added. "They worked very hard, did what was asked of them and their discipline and organization won the day."
ANB's Women return to action on May 30, playing host to Sanjaxx Lions at Country Day School in King City.
Meanwhile, Pro Stars will have some time to regroup, returning to the field of play on June 13 after a two week break, when they will face their local rival, North Missisauga Panthers.