By Ryan Eakin
BARRIE - The Simcoe County Rovers defeated Blue Devils FC 3-0 on Sunday afternoon to begin their 2022 season with a statement win against one of the better teams in League1.
Alyssa Nikkel opened the scoring for the Rovers in the 37th minute, leading to an eruption from the capacity crowd at J.C. Massie Field.
Cloey Uddenberg added to the lead in the 78th minute and Lia Foster, who began the game on the bench, scored shortly thereafter in the 84th minute to steal the win for the home side.
Goalkeeper Yazmeen Jamieson picked the first clean sheet in Rovers history.
BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: The game never felt in doubt after Nikkel’s opening goal in the first half. From that point forward, the Rovers were in control of the game the rest of the way.
DID YOU SEE THAT? Nikkel’s long distance strike was the nicest goal of the game for the Rovers, who did not lack chances against the Blue Devils FC in this one.
BY THE NUMBERS…
0: There were zero yellow or red cards given out in Sunday’s contest.
3: Outside of the North Toronto Nitros striking for seven goals against Pickering FC on Saturday, the Rovers three goals are the most goals in a game by a League1 team throughout the first week of the season.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM…
Sporting Director Audra Sherman on what impressed her the most. “I just think we came out ready. “I like how we came out confident. We really created a lot in the final third, which was really exciting. We put in three in our home opener. It is hard to ask for more than that.”
Sherman on if this is how she wants her team to play this season.: “This is the standard. This is the foundation and the basis of how we want to play. I love how we did it right from the get-go in our home opener.”
Sherman on the team’s defensive performance: “I thought [head coach] Zack Wilson did a great job in getting our team prepared for this week – I did not think we were too bad at all. I think as we go forward we will get better defensively but if you have the ball, you do not have to worry about it.”
Sherman on seeing such a great crowd for the home opener: “I won’t lie, I only really saw it after we scored as we were a bit focused on the game but the fans were amazing. They really hyped the players up. Our supporters group was amazing.
LOOKING AHEAD: The women travel to Centennial College to face Alliance United FC (0-1-0) on Saturday (3:00 pm) for their first road game of the 2022 season.
From there, the Rovers return home on Saturday, May 7 against Burlington FC. Kick off is set for 4:00 pm.