Harrison Ritchie scores twice, Evan Doupe shines in net for St. Marys
By Pat Payton
Both offensively and defensively, it was one of the best 90-minute efforts of the WOSL season to date for the St. Marys Juggernauts. Last Tuesday night at the DCVI pitch, Juggernauts put it all together in a 3-0 Second Division victory over the St. Columban Celtics.
St. Marys had been plagued by slow starts in recent games, but Harrison Ritchie made sure it didn’t happen against the Celtics as the hard-working centre halfback scored twice in the first five minutes for the home team. Juggernauts’ back-up goalkeeper Evan Doupe was the other story of the first half, making a half-dozen big saves as St. Columban tried to claw its way back from the early 2-0 deficit.
Celtics were awarded a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box midway through the half. The kicker managed to blast a shot past the St. Marys wall, but Doupe was in perfect position to keep the visitors off the scoresheet.
At the half-time break, injured netminder Aaron Wybrow (filling in as substitute coach for head coach Wayne Murray) pointed out the keys to Juggernauts’ strong opening 45 minutes.
“We had a really good start, we got great goaltending from Evan, our communication was very good, and our movement of the ball into space was better than in previous games,” Wybrow explained.
First 15 minutes crucial
Wybrow also stressed to the Juggernauts that the first 15 minutes of the second half were crucial with St. Marys holding the 2-0 lead. His teammates obviously listened as they took the play to St. Columban and created several great scoring chances. Striker Kyle Fennema had two good opportunities, and Sam Triemstra and Remco Scheele also just missed converting at the Celtics’ doorstep.
Finally, about 15 minutes into the half, Triemstra took a perfect pass from Kyle Fennema and connected with a high shot to give Juggernauts a big insurance goal. Doupe, meanwhile, went on to record his first cleansheet of the season.
Following the game, Wybrow also praised defensive stalwarts such as captain Jack Dickey, Ryan Fennema and Dante Pieroni.
“They put in the effort, they’re always at practice, they give an honest 100 percent effort and they’re players who don’t want to come off the field,” he said. “They’re all grinders. And Dante is good at communicating out on the wing.”
Wybrow also described Ritchie as “a very versatile” player. “He can play several different positions, anywhere we need him. It’s incredibly handy to have a player like that.”
With the win, St. Marys (4-0-3) moved into sole possession of fourth place in the league standings. Seventh-place St. Columban slipped to 3-1-4 with the loss.
Juggernauts were scheduled to host a Cup game on Tuesday of this week against Chatham Storm.
They return to WOSL action on Friday, July 5 when London White Eagles come to town. Kick-off at DCVI is 8 p.m.