Home Women's Soccer More Women's Soccer After perfect regular season, Ottawa Fury readies for championship run

After perfect regular season, Ottawa Fury readies for championship run

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To say that the Ottawa Fury are the favourites to take the W-League Central Conference championship this weekend would actually be a bit of an understatement.

The Fury is coming off a perfect 12-0-0 season as the club hosts the Toronto Lady Lynx, the No. 4 seed in the conference, on Saturday. On Sunday, the winner faces the victor of the other semifinal between Laval and Quebec City. All of the games will be at Ottawa’s Algonquin College. The winner of the championship will go onto the W-League final four in Seattle.

“This group of players has been focused on a championship since day one,” said Fury coach Dominic Oliveri. “And that hasn’t changed one bit. It is nice to have a perfect season, but it doesn’t mean anything unless we get the chance to go to Seattle and win the championship there.”
The road begins with that Saturday semifinal against Toronto. The Fury hammered the Lady Lynx in the final regular-season game of the season. Led by W-League’s leading scorer Mallory Outerbridge’s hat trick, the Fury won 5-0. But Oliveri said his team won’t be overconfident.

“Toronto always plays us tough,” he said. “They tend to match up well against us. The score from last weekend wasn’t indicative of the way they usually play against us.”

Outerbridge, from Regina, Sask., finished the season with 17 goals, one shy of Kelly Parker’s team record of 18 in a season. But Outerbridge did it in a season that was two games shorter than Parker’s. Seventeen goals in 12 games is a heck of an accomplishment — and she’s done everything she can to get the attention of Canadian national women’s coach Carolina Morace ahead of next January’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Vancouver.

The Fury swept the major categories in the W-League stat sheets. Teresa Rynier led the league with eight assists in her rookie W-League campaign. The American forward looks to move up to WPS. And keeper Jasmine Phillips had a goals-against average of 0.526, tops in all of the W-League conferences.

“I was a little surprised the team came together so quickly,” said Oliveri. “We didn’t have a lot of returning players from last year. I think we only had eight returning players.”

And, the Fury’s spectacular run is putting women’s soccer on the local radar — and giving Canadian fans a vital good-news story, especially important after the failings of the national women’s team at the World Cup.

“Definitely. There has been more media attention, more media requests,” said Oliveri. “We can see that there are more fans coming out to our games. We have been getting more than 500.”

And, this weekend, that number should increase dramatically.

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