By Caio Miari
The Centennial Colts women's soccer team entered the third match of the season carrying two straight losses, five goals allowed, and three scored after two appearances on the road to kick off the schedule.
Nothing better than coming back home to change that scenario, knowing which adjustments needed to be done.
"We've decided (for) this game that we need to come out fast and hard," said coach Diarmuid O'Connor, after a 5-1 victory against the Loyalist Lancers Friday night at Progress Campus. "And we did it. We got a goal fairly early on that settle us."
The Colts' (1-2-0) first triumph featured an unusual, though terrific, first half.
The four goals scored in the first 45 minutes of action not only gave the team an insurance result for the rest of the match but also surpassed the total amount of goals scored in the first two matches.
Besides that, even though it's unavoidable not praising a four-goal first-half performance, there was a great piece of news on the other side of the ball as well.
"Our problem before was that we were always one goal behind our opponent," said O'Connor.
Centennial didn't allow a goal during any half of action for the first time this season.
While the 5-1 victory came under different circumstances for the Colts with the season underway, what didn't change in the match versus the Lancers (0-2-1) was who stood out on the field.
Nailah Rowe posted her first career hat trick, which now gives her five of the eight goals Centennial has scored after three matches.
"We are still pretty new as a team, and we never had an opportunity to play together," said Rowe. "But I feel now we are used to each other, we have a few more players on the team, and that makes a big difference."
So many goals are also a result of significant collective work from the Ajax, Ontario native.
"The hat-trick says a lot," said O'Connor. "She (Rowe) is a superstar, but when she doesn't have the ball, she's also making those runs that you need a runner to do; she is a team player."
Centennial's best moment in the match took place right after the 20th minute, as they scored twice in three minutes.
Two minutes later, a beautiful one-touch passes combination on the top left of the box put Sealy in a great position to assist Rowe, who capitalized with a great finish.
That was the beginning of what ended up being the team's best presentation thus far.
Aiming for keeping the momentum going, the Colts will receive the Fleming Knights on Wednesday, September 18. This can be a familiar scenario for them trying to win consecutive matches, as they wrapped up the 2018-19 season with straight victories against both Loyalist and Fleming.
"Next game is very important to us," said O'Connor. "We are looking for the same consistency as we had here."
Colts' Starting IX: Rizzo (Goalie); Vine, McLean, Smith (Defense); Lee, Cabiles, Carrington, Frank, Cosgrove (Midfield); Sealy, Rowe (Forwards).