Competing in soccer at the highest level takes patience, skill, and a desire to be the best. That’s a combination that FC LONDON Women’s Head Coach looked for as he started to build the League1 Ontario squad for the 2017 season. That was many months ago. Since then, Michael Marcoccia has led a team of talented young athletes, some as young as 15, to their second League1 title.
“It’s a long season, and having a deep roster is key as you get into the final months of the season,” said Marcoccia.
Deep indeed. With more than 30 players in the U21 feeder system over two teams, both of whom also collected hardware in 2017, it gave Marcoccia the ability put talented young players on the field during the run to the finish line.
When the dust settled, the team had a record of 15 wins, 2 losses and 3 ties with a crushing 78 goals for and only 13 against. Goalkeeper Emily Gillet recorded a staggering nine shutouts. Defenders like Daniella Strano, Meagan Scott and Robyn Scott kept control of opposing forwards, making sure that Gillet only saw a minimum number of shots per game. The team went undefeated since June 3.
The forwards crushed both teams and records, as they were led by 2016 Golden Boot winner Jade Kovacevic. Including Cup games, she tallied 40 goals in 20 games, shattering her 2016 record and setting the bar high for future players in League1. Supporting Jade with goals of their own were Ashley Campbell (8), Marisa Oliviera (7) and Kaila Novak (7), who capitalized on chances created by teammates – including veteran Denise Fortin, who is retiring after this season.
With some well-deserved time off, the ladies can now focus on building for next year, a task aided by the player development through FC LONDON’s youth academy program. FC LONDON academy is built on the same foundation as the League1 team with a focus on both player development and team strategy – combined with decision-making skills. This combination has been proven successful around the world and is now implemented at all levels from age 8 to League1.
The FC LONDON Men’s team ended the season in 4th place in the West Conference, with ties being their biggest enemy in their quest for a league Championship. Forward Elvir Gigolaj tallied 17 goals throughout the year to land in 2nd place in scoring.
“Overall, we’re thrilled with the 2017 season,” said the club’s president, Ian Campbell. “From championships and tournament wins to national and professional exposure, we’re well on our way to creating great opportunities for our players and coaches.”
Keep track of all FC LONDON news at www.FCLONDON.ca
Submitted by FC LONDON and photo by League1 Ontario/ Martin Bazyl Photography