The Niagara Knights men's soccer program (1-0, 3rd OCAA West) will hit the road to try and secure an early season cushion in the OCAA West standings. After taking down the Mohawk Mountaineers (0-1, 4th OCAA West) in their season and home opener the Knights will look to build on their confidence in a weekend double-header.
It will be the St. Clair Saints (0-2, 5th OCAA West) that will test the Knights first. The Saints, having lost their first two matches courtesy of the Redeemer Royals (1-0-1, 2nd OCAA West) and the Fanshawe Falcons (2-0-1, 1st OCAA West).
Despite a rocky start to the year for the Saints, it will be a tough matchup for Niagara, as the Saints are coming off of a 5-3-2 season a year ago that landed them a 3rd place finish in the OCAA West division.
After St. Clair, the Knights will travel to Sarnia to take on the Lambton Lions (0-2, 5th OCAA West). The Lions, who dropped their first two matches against Fanshawe and Mohawk, have yet to score a goal while conceding nine.
Taking advantage of two matches against programs who have had a cold start to the season will be key if the Knights want to finish at the top of the standings and secure a berth into the OCAA playoffs. Knights Head Coach Frank DeChellis says that his team is ready for the challenge of a weekend road trip.
"We're a little banged up from our season opener but we're ready to go," said DeChellis. "The trip to Windsor and Sarnia is always enjoyable but challenging in terms of getting everybody ready to play."
Oti Frigole (St. Catharines), one of Niagara's top recruits from this past offseason, got off to a tremendous start to his OCAA career scoring two goals and assisting on a third that gave Niagara the win over Mohawk in his first match with the program. Frigole's performance led him to being named the Niagara Knights and OCAA Male Athlete of the Week.
"This weekend always requires a full team effort to get us through two games in 26 hours," said DeChellis. "It's a great team building experience to have so early in the season, neither team has ever been an easy game for us and our preparation this week reflects that same expectation"
The Niagara Knights will take on the St. Clair Saints at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg, Ontario on September 15th at 4pm before travelling to Sarnia to take on the Lambton Lions on September 16th at 3pm.