Something’s Going On Here And It’s Going To Be Fun!!
So after a weekend of drama that only Championship weekends bring, we have most of the tickets punched for Sumerside, PEI for the CCAA Women’s National Soccer Championships from November 8th to 11th hosted by Holland College, with the exception of the MCAC which are playing their championships today, (Monday) indoors at the WSF Soccer South and WSF Soccer North indoor facilities due to unplayable field conditions at Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex. Did Mother Nature not get the memo?
With that being said, we now know that there will be a new National Champion, as Collège Ahuntsic was eliminated from defending their crown by St-Lambert on Saturday in RSEQ College action, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s see what happened and who’s joining the hosts in Summerside.
The Hurricanes are now seven-time ACAA Champions.
It was a perfect season overall from regular season to championships (14-0-0 in 2023) as the ‘Canes won both their semi-final and championship games this past weekend en route to their third ACAA championship in five years.
The ‘Canes began the championships at Mainland Commons in Halifax, Nova Scotia with semi-final action on Saturday against the St. Thomas University (STU) Tommies.
Then on Sunday, the Holland College Hurricanes then defeated the University of Kings College Blue Devils 1-0 to become the 2023 ACAA Women’s Soccer Champions.
Both teams battled early on, trading scoring chances in the beginning of the match. Reese Kelly got things started with an early drive for the Hurricanes, but Kings Keeper Emma Kuzmyk made a diving save to end the attack. Simona Busillo responded soon after for Kings with a shot just outside the 18-yard box, but Holland Keeper Allison Rutt was able to make the save.
Holland’s Emily Lepine had several chances through the first half including a long shot from the left-hand side but Kuzmyk made a brilliant save, tipping the ball over the net.
The Hurricanes continued to press and had several scoring chances including a mele in front of the Kings net after a corner kick, but the shot hit the post. Kuzmyk made save after save to keep her team in the game and the first half ended in a 0-0 tie.
Holland continued to control most of the play in the second half, starting with a brilliant cross from Hayden Chaisson, but Kuzmyk thwarted the play.
Lepine had a number of scoring chances early on in the second half, but her shots went wide on the far side and just over the net.
The Blue Devils best scoring opportunity came midway through the half when a foul was called just outside Holland’s 18-yeard box. Simona Busillo took the kick and her shot was tipped over the net by Rutt.
The Hurricanes were finally able to get one past Kuzmyk in the last few minutes of regular season play with a beautiful play in front of the net. Lepine fed the ball across to teammate Emma MacIntyre who put the ball into the back of the net.
Kings fought hard to put together some scoring opportunities but were unable to convert and had to settle for silver.
Iriana Theoharopoulos was named the Lawtons Player of the Game for Kings, while MacIntyre received the honour for Holland.
As hosts of the 2023 CCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, Holland has an automatic berth to the championships, so both teams will vie for a national championship title November 8-11, 2023 in Summerside, PEI.
Courtesy of RSEQ: So given that the same four schools dominated this year on both the Men’s and Women’s sides in the RSEQ, it set up some very interesting match ups on the Women’s side.
The Provincial Championships took place on October 28th and 29th, 2023 at Collège Champlain Saint-Lambert.
As we touched on earlier, there is a new women’s champion in the RSEQ Division 1 Soccer, and because of Collège Ahuntsic’s loss to the College Saint-Lambert Cavaliers in the semi-fanal on Saturday, The College Saint-Lambert Cavaliers are the 2023-24 RSEQ D1 Women’s Soccer Champions after they team defeated Sainte-Foy by a score of 2-1 with 2 quick goals in the 2nd half after failing behind 0-1 in the first half and will be representing the RSEQ in Summerside, PE from November 8th to 11th.
Courtesy of the OCAA.com
In a rematch of last year’s OCAA Women’s Soccer Gold Medal game, the No. 2 Seneca Sting (12-0-1) captured the provincial title for the first time since 2014 after beating the No. 12 Humber Hawks (10-0-4) under the lights of Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan. Yoana Peralta Fernandez scored the third tally to consolidate the win for Seneca.
The Seneca Sting knew they would be in for the biggest challenge of the season against the defending provincial champions. The Hawks were the only team who remained undefeated in the season.
The Hawks started hot, pressuring Seneca right at their defensive area. Humber were hungry for the first tally, and it would not take long for Emily Robitaille to find an early goal for the Hawks.
Humber’s tally seemed to have woken up the Sting. Seneca who started controlling the game in the midfield and building up more and more offensive opportunities.
A fault from 25 yards would change the game scenario for the Sting. Jessica Shears would receive a pass beside the 18-yard box and unloaded a long shot, the ball would get deflected before ending into the back of the net.
Seneca would not stop there and stayed hot. In the 43rd minute, Kayla Uddenberg fought for the ball right next to the penalty box and smashed a long shot that would sail over the keeper’s reach, putting Seneca ahead on the board 2-1.
The second half started with both teams feeling each other out. Seneca did not back off and kept creating offensive opportunities, while the Hawks, on the other side, were playing easy and smart to find a way to tie the match up.
The Hawks though, were struggling to find a solution to Seneca’s solid defence and, at 75 minutes, a game-changing moment would set the pace of the match. Humber’s Emily Robitaille would receive her second yellow card, putting Humber one-player down.
Right after Robitaille was sent off unbalancing the sides, the Sting would step up and put their foot on the gas. Yoana Peralta Fernandez would receive a deflection inside the penalty box and calmly wrapped up the game for Seneca, driving another tally to the back of the net.
This was the Seneca Sting’s first gold medal since 2014.
Hayley Lewis from Humber and Yoana Peralta Fernandez from Seneca were named the players of the match.
Most Valuable Player
Rebekah Lee – Seneca Sting
Emily Robitaille – Humber Hawks
Chantel Spalla – Humber Hawks
Jessica Shears – Seneca Sting
Carley Uddenberg – Seneca Sting
Courtesy of ACAC Athletics: https://www.acac.ab.ca/sports/wsoc/2023-24p/releases/2023102877jdv8#:~:text=It%20was%20in%20the%20penalty,4%2D3%20in%20kicks).
The stage was set for a thrilling Women’s Gold Medal Match at the ACAC Championships, scheduled for 3 o’clock local time at the Edmonton Soccer Dome. In this high-stakes clash, the Keyano Huskies took on the SAIT Trojans, with the ultimate prize being a gold medal in the ACAC Championships.
The game ignited quickly as both teams found the back of the net in the seventh minute, setting the tone for a spirited battle. First, Orellana for the Huskies scored, quickly followed by Wiebe for the Trojans. The crowd was on its feet, and the game was in full swing. The Huskies’ Rodney then had a remarkable scoring opportunity, adding to the excitement. With over 9 minutes gone, the intensity of the match was palpable.
As the game progressed, the initial frenzy settled down, but chances remained abundant. By the midpoint of the first half, it appeared that the game was taking on its distinctive form. The passionate Huskies crowd that had made the journey was vocal and provided their team with a significant boost. The match evolved into quick, well-managed football as the first half concluded.
In the second half, defensive play continued to dominate, and the early goals from the seventh minute seemed like a distant memory. However, a pivotal moment arrived when Wiebe delivered a cross to Fallows for the Trojans, and the ball found the net, allowing SAIT to regain a one-goal lead. This time, they were determined to maintain it for more than 30 seconds. The Trojans executed their strategy effectively, transitioning into a more shutdown approach.
Nevertheless, a swift surge up the field from the Huskies’ Morris in the 67th minute led to an equalizing goal. The stage was set for an epic gold medal showdown, and the intensity continued to rise as the 90th minute approached. Scoring chances grew increasingly elusive, and the score remained level at 2-2 after full time, leading the gold medal game into extra time.
In the 95th minute, Rodney for the Huskies had a shot that narrowly slid wide. The Huskies dominated the first half of extra time but couldn’t find the back of the net. The extra period unfolded with both teams locked in a fierce battle, neither conceding an inch.
As the final whistle sounded, the inevitable became reality: penalty kicks would determine the gold medal winner. It was in the penalty shootout that the SAIT Trojans emerged victorious, with a final score of 2-2 (4-3 in kicks).
Players of the Game:
Keyano Huskies | #12 – Ayla Taller
SAIT Trojans | #1 – Erin Mergen
Courtesy of PACWEST Athletics: https://www.pacwestbc.ca/championships/soccer_2023/Releases/20231029-Release-WSC-Gold-REVIEW-DC-Cap.
The Douglas Royals are the 2023 PACWEST women’s champions following a 3-1 win over the Capilano Blues in Nanaimo on Sunday afternoon.
The game was played under beautiful weather for soccer under the sunshine and nine degrees at kickoff. Capilano started with steady buildups while the Royals looked to counterattack down the wings, looking to spring Christine Singh and Anna Klaver-Valdez.
The opening goal went to the Royals in the 24th minute. Blues goalkeeper Megan Thitchener and Klaver-Valdez collided in the box when chasing after a loose ball. The referee pointed to the spot and Douglas’ Pak Tung Tsang froze the keeper on the penalty kick and scored to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
In the 30th minute, Capilano had a glorious chance as Mya Fraser launched a shot from distance, but Douglas keeper Vanessa Chung made a diving stab to deflect it away from the top corner.
The Blues kept up considerable pressure through the 30-40th minutes, but the Royals backline held steady.
In the second half, the Blues came out firing and an outstretched Chung punched away a dangerous high shot at the crossbar in the 48th minute to preserve the lead. The rebound fell in front of the goal, but the Royals were able to make a quick clear.
The fans were also fired up, with Royals fans banging plastic buckets as drums and the Blues fans waving blue signs and wearing blue and white face paint.
The Royals picked up steam in the 60th minute, testing Thitchener with a long shot that she tipped over the bar. On the ensuing corner kick, the ball deflected back to Jessica Lau in the middle, and she fired a rocket into the top corner of the net for a 2-0 Royals lead.
In the 75th minute, the Royals got a third goal for insurance as KIaver-Valdez flew down the right wing and fired a cross to the front of the net which deflected in off the goalkeeper’s hands.
In the 86th minute, it looked like Capilano would get some life as they were awarded a penalty kick, but Chung made a low diving save on a shot by PACWEST’s top striker Alanah Dulong.
Capilano’s Lauren Grey added a goal in injury time, but the Royals held on for the win and the Conference title. They advance to the CCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship in Summerside, PEI, November 8-11.
Players of the game: Julia Peyton for Capilano, Pak Tung Tsang for Douglas
Top Goalkeeper and MVP: Vanessa Chung, Douglas
Top Defender: Pak Tung Tsang, Douglas
Top Midfielder: Anysley Hurtado, Capilano
Top Forward: Anna Klaver-Valdez, Douglas