FC Oshawa women’s soccer team has clinched a playoff spot in their first season.
Oshawa’s players are excited to be heading to the playoffs, says head coach Ron Clarke.
They finished the season with a 6-5-2 record, good enough for fifth place and 20 points. The last game of the season was a 2-2 tie against Durham United FA.
The Oshawa squad clinched their playoff spot with a 10-0 victory over North Mississauga SC.
Megan Arsenault, one of the senior players on the team, scored five goals to lead her team to victory.
According to Clarke, over the course of the season the team hasn’t put the same starting lineup on the field twice.
“We’ve had 13 different starting lineups, so that just attributes to the depth that we have,” he says.
He also notes there’s been three key players who have helped solidify the team’s success.
“Besides that, we’ve relied a lot on kids from the Oshawa Kicks, FC Durham, and even Oshawa Turuls… So it’s been pretty special to have them all contribute to our success,” he says.
Clarke says he’s feeling good as one of the goals to begin the year was to make the playoffs.
“Now I’m just hoping to compete,” says Clarke.
He credits a change in his team’s style of play for their increased number of goals, and their ability to compete.
Clarke says the style of play they’ve implemented is a “counterattacking” style.
“We defend first, and when we win the ball we look to go at you quickly,” he explains. “Doing that, and we have some younger legs that are playing in the striker position, that’s just helped us. We’re able to put a lot of pressure on the defensive teams.”
He notes with the team being younger, they’re a bit more flexible.
“Because we’ve played [our opponents] before we know how they play, and tactically I think we match up pretty well,” says Clarke. “As much as they score a lot of goals, we don’t concede a lot of goals. So, it will be a good test of our defensive abilities.”
Clarke is looking for his team to carry the momentum from their offensive outburst from their game against North Mississauga into the postseason.
He credits Arsenault, goaltender Sarah Ford, and midfielder Sona Makulova with leading the charge.
“Between those three senior players heading into the playoffs, knowing that they’re with us, we feel pretty good,” says Clarke.
Even if FC Oshawa loses in the first round, Clarke considers the season a success, as he feels they beat the odds and made the playoffs in their first season.
The playoff schedule has yet to be finalized for FC Oshawa. For more information visit league1ontario.com