Defending women's L1 Cup holders North Mississauga proved it is their silverware to keep after handing Durham United FA their first loss in any competition this season with a 2-1 result at Kinsmen Park, Pickering.
North Miss started the match in high gear, pressing high up the pitch and putting the home side under pressure with aerial balls designed to put the defenders into uncomfortable positions.
Erica Brunet (9') was the first to benefit, before forward Oshay Lawes (34') joined in on the scoring just before the half.
"First of all, I told the girls we are defending the L1 Cup and we need come at Durham," said North Miss assistant coach, Trevor Bertrand. "We recognize they are strong in the back, but the plan was to turn the defence and get them running towards their own net and trying to defend."
"This worked, and we got the two in the first half. They were awarded a penalty, which they finished, and so we decided to put up two walls in the second half, which held up properly."
Durham would not be caught sleeping however, and earned a penalty just before the break. Durham scoring leader Laura Gosse (38') made no mistake on the penalty, adding her eighth goal of the season in all competitions.
The two banks of four in North Miss' midfield and defence held strong in the second half, while their possession game also came to the fore, denying Durham any out and out opportunities.
"To be up 2-1 is a very precarious position to be in, but the girls kept their composure," added Bertrand. "I'm pretty happy. It was a first defeat for them, and hopefully we can build on that when we take on another undefeated team in the next round, which is Woodbridge."
North Miss moves on to the semi-final round against Woodbridge Strikers, date, time and location yet to be determined.
Despite the loss, Durham is still pushing the top of the women's division to take over top place and repeat their title-winning 2015 season. A marquee match-up awaits them on Friday June 24 as they host league leaders FC London at Kinsmen Park, 8 p.m.
Head coach Ron Clarke will be looking for a change in performance from his team.
"I think the biggest thing tonight was that they wanted it more than us," he said. "They came out aggressive, had a game-plan, and stuck to it. We had some chances, in the second half especially, but they deserved the win."
With a huge match on Friday, we will learn from our mistakes, and hopefully we come together as a unit and show everybody who we really are," he concluded.