THIS SEASON North Toronto Nitros Soccer have five female sides at CSL level with three - our 02s, 05s and 06s - in 11-a-side action in the Provincial Indoor Soccer League (PISL) and the new Greater Toronto Indoor Soccer League (GTISL).
Two other CSL squads, the 03 and 07 girls, will hone their skills in the fast-moving 6 v 6 indoor league at Downsview Hangar. Here at ntsoccer.com we will keep you up to date with their exploits every week as the chase for silverware hots up over the cold winter months.
CSL ROUND-UP EPISODE SEVEN: U17 GIRLS No1 PRIORITY
GREEN MACHINE...Callum Fleming's 03 Girls CSL side have made an excellent start to the winter season
NORTH TORONTO NITROS SOCCER’S 03 CSL Girls wrapped up their first half of the Hangar League Indoor 6 v 6 season with just one defeat in their first eight games and their sights still firmly on the title.
In what is a combined age group league with U17 and U18 teams, our younger side lost 3-2 to Toronto High Park’s older age group in the closing game before the holiday break.
They have since bounced back with a 6-0 success over High Park’s 17s ahead of this weekend’s clash with Markham Lightning.
Head Coach Callum Fleming - a former Nitros League One midfielder - is one of our promising developing sideline talents.
And as he looked ahead to Part Two of the season he reflected: “The loss to High Park puts us a point behind them in the league but we will play them in the last game of the season and will hopefully make up for it then.
“That defeat was disappointing, we fell behind 3-0 and ran out of time with our comeback.
“Overall, though, we've had a good first half of the season. My expectations are high and if we play to our full capability then I am hopeful we will have a chance to win the regular season on the final day of the season.”
As a player in Nitros colours Callum was always a dedicated trainer and a fiercely determined competitor on match days.
That has not changed as a coach as we look to drive forward as a club and improve every squad in the standards-based CSL environment.
BY THE LEFT...Nitros striker Sammy York slams in a shot in the win over Asante Elite Pic: Aris Zakinthinos
Callum stressed: “Our goal is to win the league. In my first year coaching we lost some very meaningful games - the semi final of the play-offs in the Hangar to Nitros 2002 last winter when we went down 1-0 and the Cup Final of the Summer League 2-1 on penalties.
“That makes you want to take the next step forward as a team and win games like that.
“While our top priority is success in the CSL this summer, learning to play our best and to get results when it matters most is important for our team.
“In addition to that, we need to continue to build chemistry on the field and identify the roles our players are going to have moving forward.”
This dedicated squad has strong competition for places within it and Callum is looking for the players to inspire each other to improve in 2020.
He reasoned: “While it will be difficult to improve the results in the second half of the season, I’m still looking for more consistency on the field.
“As coaches I feel we always have to look past the scoreboard to finer details such as executing a game plan or learning from prior mistakes.
“The winter is about building into the team we are capable of becoming. It’s never going to be a linear process, there will be good weeks and bad weeks, but if we continue to put in the work I think we can put ourselves into a position to have success at the next level.”
CSL ROUND-UP EPISODE SIX: U18 GIRLS TOP TABLE
ON THE RIGHT ROAD...the gifted U18 Girls with coach Shane O'Flaherty are riding high in the PISL
NORTH TORONTO NITROS U18 Girls have finished the decade on top of the Provincial Indoor Soccer League after making a four-game unbeaten start to their campaign.
A 1-0 win over Clarkson Comets kept Head Coach Shane O’Flaherty’s side in pole position ahead of the holidays.
Outfield players Rosie Nichols and Rachel Turnbull had to put a shift in between the sticks for this one and played a half each, showing terrific team spirit.
And Shane smiled: “They both showed what this team of girls is all about.
“It’s great to finish the decade on top of the provincial league. We look to carry this form into 2020 and fight for the title till end of the season.”
CSL ROUND-UP EPISODE FIVE: 06 BOYS MAKE SOLID START
IN GOOD SHAPE FOR 2020...some of the 06s Boys CSL squad ahead of their Ontario Cup campaign
NORTH TORONTO NITROS SOCCER’S 06 Boys CSL side have made an impressive four-game unbeaten start to life in the Greater Toronto Indoor Soccer League (GTISL).
The boys were disappointed to leak a late equaliser in their opening 1-1 draw with Pickering before racking up an excellent 4-1 success over Brampton SC in Game Two.
Striker Eric An grabbed the goal in the curtain-raiser and was on target again in that success with new signings Sean Staveley and Rehan Habib and Nitros veteran Chris Wall also on target.
Game Three saw a 0-0 stalemate in a well-matched encounter with Croatia Norval and that set up the final game before the break against Toronto High Park FC.
Nitros pressured an own goal for the opener before the game’s MVP Wade Nelson smashed home a 25-yard free-kick to make it two.
Simon Jarvis then pressed high to win possession from a defender and clip home the third in an explosive opening nine minutes.
After the break Eric An rifled in his third of the season before Jackson Ely capped an excellent CSL debut with a deft dribble in the box that culminated in a shot slammed into the corner.
The best was saved until last as striker Sean Ware took possession on the angle of the box to drift home a brilliant chip and seal a 6-0 success.
Nitros sit handily placed in fourth place two points off the top of the table and Head Coach Iain King said: “We are only at the outset with this group but they are making good progress and learning every time they take the field.
“We have been edged out in excellent exhibition matches with Richmond Hill and Croatia Norval and those games have shown they have much to learn, particularly in transitions after we lose the ball.
“They are growing as a team, though, we have signed five new players and brought four up from our TSA squad and they are starting to gel now.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how they deal with the challenges at the top of the table in 2020 as we have some big games against the top teams coming up.”
CSL ROUND-UP EPISODE FOUR: 05s GIRLS A FOUR-CE
NORTH TORONTO NITROS 05 CSL Girls have marched to a flawless 4-0 record to stay top of the Under-15 Provincial Indoor Soccer League (PISL).
Head Coach Humberto Ferreira’s side carved out an important 3-1 win over Woodbridge Strikers in Game Three with Isabella Franco, Annia Pavli and Odry Silva all on target.
After that one coach Humberto reflected: “In the first-half both teams had periods of dominance scoring one goal.
“The second-half was completely different and after some adjustments our team dominated and controlled the opponent and the ball possession scoring two more goals.”
That win was followed by a tough challenge against Oak Ridges Knights but the girls found the answers again with a 1-0 triumph to keep the ball rolling at the top.
Game Five now beckons next Saturday, December 21, when the 05s face Brams United at Wet ’n Wild intent on going into the holidays with that perfect record and top spot intact.
CSL ROUND-UP EPISODE THREE: 07s SUPER SATURDAY
They come through Exhibition and Hangar double-headers with four wins
NORTH TORONTO NITROS…6 RICHMOND HILL RAIDERS…1
NITROS’ 07 Girls journey towards their first 11 v 11 season outdoors took a big step forward with an excellent exhibition win over Richmond Hill at Downsview Dome.
Striker Deena Bahaviolos scored a hat-trick with Caitlin Davies, Amelia Kassam and Sophie Breeze also on target for Jonathan Coretti’s side.
Coach Jonathan said afterwards: “It was a great opportunity for the girls to play on the big field and we remain very much a work in progress.
“There were a lot of positives, though, and we passed the ball really well at times and looked confident in possession which was nice to watch. It was a big Saturday for us.”
WSSC MUSTANGS…0 NORTH TORONTO NITROS…1
PART TWO of a hectic day for the 07s Girls saw them edge out title rivals Mustangs in the 6 v 6 Hangar League to rack up their sixth straight win.
Striker Bahaviolos notched the winner as the girls - who have averaged eight goals a game so far - were given their biggest test yet against WSSC.
This latest success puts Nitros five points clear at the top of the table as they continue their development throughout the winter indoor season.
NITROS FAMILY...the 06 Boys and 07 Boys enjoyed their integration 6 v 6 session. The winners were (left to
right from back) Tilian Steininger, Eric An, Simon Jarvis, Liam Stone, Max Doherty and Ashkan Sheykhi
NORTH TORONTO NITROS…4 WOODBRIDGE STRIKERS…0
JOAQUIN CLARKE grabbed a double as Nitros 07 Boys got some valuable 11 v 11 time under their belts in a competitive exhibition game against Woodbridge at Downsview Dome.
Ashkan Sheykhi and Ryan Sarkhosh were also on the mark but this was an excellent team display as the boys began to put into practice some of the hard work being done on the training field under the guidance of Jonathan Coretti.
Keepers Michael Konstantopoulos and Ryan Tiltack racked up clean sheets and Jonathan reflected: “What pleased me the most was that we had worked on pressing the ball high in an organised fashion and at times they pulled that off really well.
“This is a dedicated squad and they are a lot of fun to work with right now, always focused and ready to learn.”
WEXFORD…5 NORTH TORONTO NITROS…6
FOUR-GOAL Ryan Sarkhosh helped shoot Nitros back into the Hangar League title contention with an excellent striking performance against leaders Wexford.
Noah Amaha and match-winner Rowan Polanco were also on the scoresheet as Nitros moved to within a point of the championship pace after two frustrating early season losses to Gil Vicente and Brampton.
It was a busy day for players like the hard-working Andreas Carneiro after that morning exhibition but the 07 Boys mirrored their Girls clubmates with two big results in both formats of the winter game.
CSL ROUND-UP EPISODE TWO: GIRLS LEAD THE WAY
Clean sweep! FOUR Nitros sides top their league tables and 06s win too
GIRLS 02 PROVINCIAL INDOOR SOCCER LEAGUE (PISL)
BRAMS ACADEMY…0 NORTH TORONTO NITROS…2
TARA DAVIS and Ariana Bill got last season’s CSL League Cup holders off to a flyer on opening day in the Provincial Indoor Soccer League.
And there was a further boost for the girls afterwards when Nitros announced the team will be hailed at the AGM for their achievements in the summer season.
Head Coach Shane O’Flaherty revealed: “The club will be recognising our CSL Cup victory of last season at the Annual General Meeting on Monday night (November 25) and that’s a great gesture.
“It gives us a chance to reflect and enjoy what was an excellent achievement for the girls.”
NORTH TORONTO NITROS…2 OSHAWA KICKS RENEGADES…2
NITROS grabbed a hard-earned point against tough opposition in Game Two of the PISL and remain undefeated so far with four points from their opening matches.
This time around with injuries and absences the girls had a squad of just 12 players - with two 05 players called up - but they battled back from two down to grab a well-earned point against last season’s CSL League champions.
Rosie Nichols ripped home a screamer of a free-kick to get Nitros back into the game before Mia Vandekas chased down a ball that left Oshawa’s centre-back and keeper uncertain and nicked in to score.
Head Coach Shane O’Flaherty smiled: “It has been a great start for the girls and we are top of the table on four points now, ahead of Oshawa Kicks on goal difference.
“We showed great fight and a never give up attitude.”
Nitros now face Erin Mills Eagles next on Saturday November 30 at Wet ’n Wild.
GIRLS 03 HANGAR LEAGUE
OSHAWA TURUL…1 NORTH TORONTO NITROS…3
HEAD COACH Callum Fleming hailed his team for a second success on the spin at The Hangar - then admitted his new-look squad remain very much a work in progress.
The former Nitros League1 midfielder said: “We have had a positive start to the season. Our practices have had a good level of intensity and also very competitive.
“Yet as a group we fully understand we still have a long way to go to become the team we want to be.”
NORTH TORONTO NITROS…3 ETOBICOKE ENERGY…1
ON-FORM striker Sammy York scored another double for Nitros as they kept up the heat on those chasing them with their third straight win.
Etobicoke also conceded an own goal as the league leaders set up Game Four this Saturday (November 23) when they will tackle Bolton Wanderers and bid to keep the run going.
FLYING START...10 goals, two wins and six points so far for the 05 Girls CSL side who top the PISL table
GIRLS 05 PISL
NORTH TORONTO NITROS…7 CLARKSON COMETS…0
FOUR-GOAL Mia Filippazzo led the way in a commanding Nitros performance that cemented their place at the top of the Under-15 Girls PISL standings.
Olivia Graham, Amy Maisel and Molly Hektor, with her second of the season, were also on target and Nitros move on to Game Three on Saturday evening (November 23) against Woodbridge Strikers at Wet ’n Wild.
Head Coach Humberto Ferreira, whose side have yet to concede a goal in the league, said: “This was a good performance in terms of our offensive organisation and pressing.
“We were very serious and solid during all the moments of the game especially on our defensive transition.
“The score represents the effort and commitment of each player with their team-mates.”
GIRLS 06 GREATER TORONTO INDOOR SOCCER LEAGUE (GTISL)
KLEINBURG NOBLETON SC…0 NORTH TORONTO NITROS…2
GOALS from Eva Holzman-Sharfe and Estella Irvine gave Nitros a deserved first league win of the indoor season as they dominated Game Two in the Greater Toronto Indoor Soccer League.
With captain Ally Naccarato pulling the strings in midfield and striker Sasha Wilson assisting on both goals Nitros fully merited all three points.
Head Coach Iain King said: “I felt the girls were very unlucky to be edged out in Game One against Oakville Blue Devils so I was delighted for them here.
“We could - and should - have scored more but the back four of Audrey Antonio, Brooklyn Whalen, Maggie Atkinson and Laura Kelly were so solid again and we never looked in danger.”
GIRLS 07 HANGAR LEAGUE
NITROS 07 Girls CSL squad have made a dominant start to their Hangar League campaign crashing in 34 goals in three opening wins to top the table.
The girls - guided by Head Coach Jonathan Coretti - had their resounding latest success with a 12-1 triumph over city rivals Toronto High Park.
Now they face their first big test on Saturday (November 23) when they tackle Brampton Elite.
Our 07 Girls age group is deep in talent with Marc Maunder also leading a strong OPDL squad through their first winter and coach Jonathan reflected: “The girls have looked really strong so far but have to concentrate on continuing to develop their play from the back mentality in the indoor season.”
Strikers Deena Bahaviolos and Alyssa Freer have been in excellent goalscoring form but last weekend’s success over Toronto High Park was also notable for the growing authority at the back from Alex Nodder and Caitlin Davies who stuck to the team’s passing principles as their development continues.
CSL ROUND-UP EPISODE ONE: FLYING START FOR GIRLS
Two sides top leagues, 06s look promising and Deena nets SEVEN for 07s
02 GIRLS PISL
NORTH TORONTO NITROS...2 BRAMS UNITED...0
LAST SEASON’S League Cup winning 02 Girls CSL squad kicked off their Provincial Indoor Soccer League season with an opening 2-0 win over Brams United.
Head Coach Shane O’Flaherty’s side are back in practice for their next Saturday night outing at Markham Sports Dome against Oshawa Kicks Renegades on Saturday November 16.
03 GIRLS HANGAR LEAGUE
MARKHAM LIGHTNING...0 NORTH TORONTO NITROS..3
HOT on the heels of a promotion season into the CSL last time out Callum Fleming's 03 Girls got off to a flyer at The Hangar with striker Sammy York scoring twice on opening day.
Zoe Voudouris grabbed the other as the 03s look to keep up their steady progress since former Nitros League One midfielder Fleming took the next step in his coaching by leading his own team.
05 GIRLS PISL
AURORA...0 NORTH TORONTO NITROS...3
NORTH TORONTO NITROS SOCCER’S 05 CSL Girls surged to the top of the Provincial Indoor Soccer League (PISL) with a comprehensive 3-0 opening day win over Aurora.
Head Coach Humberto Ferreira’s side notched through Molly Hektor, Isabella Franco and Annia Pavli and now face Game Two this weekend with a Saturday evening (November 9) clash against Clarkson Comets in a game that has a 5pm kick-off at Ontario Soccer Centre.
06 GIRLS GTISL
OAKVILLE BLUE DEVILS...1 NORTH TORONTO NITROS...0
GENESIS ACADEMY...0 NORTH TORONTO NITROS...3
NITROS have a new-look 21-player squad in the 06s Girls CSL division under the guidance of Head Coach Iain King.
The girls were edged out 1-0 by an excellent Oakville Blue Devils side in their opener in the Greater Toronto Indoor Soccer League (GTISL) but could be proud of their display in their first game together.
That was followed by a confidence boosting 3-0 exhibition game success outdoors on the road in Brampton over Genesis Academy.
Striker Sasha Wilson scored twice and there was a first goal in Nitros’ green for new signing from Mooredale SC Ore Anibaba.
Goalkeeper Madelyne Au made her debut in this one and the coaching staff of King and former NCAA no1 Patricia Koutoulas were later delighted to secure her signing for the season.
Nitros now go into game two of their GTISL quest against KNSC at Monarch Park on Saturday night (November 9) in confident mood.
07 GIRLS HANGAR LEAGUE
NITROS 07 Girls CSL squad had some of their gifted players on duty with the OPDL squad in Ottawa on opening day at The Hangar in the 6 v 6 league but the luckless North York FC found Nitros too hot to handle.
Red-hot striker Deena Bahaviolos scored seven, Katie Pastakia and Jenna Avramis both scored hat-tricks and Alex Nodder and Caitlin Davies were also on target in a resounding opening day win for coach Jonathan Coretti’s side.
MARTINHO'S MARVELS SPOT-ON TO LIFT TROPHY
NORTH TORONTO NITROS SOCCER’S Under-16 Boys are the CSL Cup champions after a dramatic penalty shoot- out triumph over Kleinburg Nobleton SC in the Final.
Nitros edged it 4-3 on penalty-kicks after a 1-1 tie in the season’s finale and their achievement left Head Coach Martinho Kibato to hail a terrific effort from a gifted squad.
Martinho told ntsoccer.com: “I am very proud for the boys and seeing them winning the CSL Cup was special.
“They have been committed, working hard since I took over the team and it is a great pleasure of mine to see them take the Cup home.”
This age group has always had an incredible depth of talent at Nitros with Marko Milanovic’s OPDL side having just sealed three Charity Shields on the spin.
Martinho’s boys show the talent that courses through the entire program at Nitros.
He stressed: “Yasin Ben Mrad brought in the competitive mentality and coupled that with his great individual skills.
“Rei Xhakolli was instrumental in the midfield controlling the pace of the game so often with his ball distribution.
“Daniel Delo was solid in the net with key saving moments through the season, especially at the Final in the shoot-out.
“Those guys were great but I would like to emphasise that this achievement was more one of collective work. The boys wanted to win and they worked so hard for it.”
JOURNEY ENDS IN GLORY FOR 02s GIRLS
RED-DY TO PARTY...the Nitros girls celebrate their League Cup Final win to seal a great season
SOCCER seasons should be journeys of improvement - nothing sums that up better than the route taken by North Toronto Nitros U17 CSL girls in 2019.
At the start of this campaign, with hopes high and ambition keen, Head Coach Shane O’Flaherty’s side were dumped 9-1 by King City in the opening league game of the season.
It would have been easy then to start pointing fingers, for players to go into their shells, for a blame culture to fester.
Instead the dedicated players listened to the guidance of their ebullient Irish coach and his assistant Lyle Scott and they vowed to get better.
This weekend that same team was crowned the CSL League Cup champions and they beat King City 2-1 in the semi-final on the way.
As he soaked up a thrilling end to the season Shane told ntsoccer.com: “The biggest thing of all for the girls was beating King City after what happened in the first league game.
“They are the no2 team in our league and were undefeated in the regular season so to go from 9-1 to beating them shows how the girls have progressed during the season.”
Nitros soccer will always traditionally be about high intensity, winning the ball high and then passing it well. Fast and free-flowing.
Yet at times against strong and physical opponents the girls have to learn a more tactical approach to get the result in competitive play.
Shane admits that was the case against King City and he reasoned: “Suffering such a heavy defeat against King City in the league meant that we had to be very defensive-orientated.
“We played 1-5-4-1 with our wingers doubling up with our full-backs on their wide players who were the biggest threats.
“We looked to frustrate them and catch them on the counter and it worked a treat, we were very compact and organised for the first-half and although they had much of the possession they couldn’t break our low block defensive line and we went into the half tied 0-0.”
After the interval the break Nitros needed as a long Abby Scott clearance sailed up and bounced over the King City keeper and in.
Now with something to cling onto Nitros surged in confidence and Rosie Nicholls smashed a 25-yard volley home to make it two before City pulled one back.
It was too little, too late for the favourites though and Shane’s side held on for a memorable win.
He stressed: “That performance and result shows the maturity the girls have shown since that heavy defeat. They've trained hard and improved massively since the opening game.
“The communication is the biggest change along with being more defensively organised out of possession.
“Our decision-making, choosing the right passes was the difference this time round. We realised when to take risks and when not to.”
After that momentous victory the Final against Oak Ridges beckoned just 24 hours after the semi-final, tough scheduling for a side who had already given so much.
Nitros dug in, though, and got the win they needed with a Rosie Nicholls penalty clinching it.
Shane confessed: “The girls showed a bit of nerves in the Final or it might have been heavy legs from the game the day before .
“Looking back the turning point of our season was a heavy home defeat to Aurora against 10 players.
“We had an honest chat after that match and then we didn’t lose another home game all year.
“Our biggest improvement is us scoring 47 goals compared to 27 last season.
“We are a more attacking expansive team so we have conceded more also but we finished the season in all competitions with 14 wins 3 draws 5 losses.
“That’s a huge improvement on last seasons 9 wins 1 draw 9 losses.”
Coach Shane - who wished the outstanding Camille Flammia a speedy recovery after she was injured in the last league game - believes the improvement in his side is testimony to the worth of the CSL environment.
He said: “The CSL has been a great experience as a whole. It’s a very competitive league and there are no gimme games.
“Overall it’s been a great season, I am so proud of the girls as they have worked so hard in training and games.
“They have shown great maturity and togetherness and winning some silverware is the least they deserved.
“I now look forward to the Provincial Indoor Soccer League starting up in winter.”