UBC Takes Home Gold and The Glady Bean Memorial Trophy
The following story is courtesy of U Sports and Queens University Athletics from November 12, 2023 written by Sarah Maat.
After an long pitched battle, UBC’s Katalin Tolnai scored in the last minute of extra time to defeat Trinity Western 1-0 and win gold at the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championship. UBC captured the Gladys Bean Memorial Trophy for the eighth time, the most of any school.
Trinity Western and UBC are two very familiar foes. Their last encounter was only ten short days ago at the Canada West final. In that match, Trinity Western defeated UBC on penalties, today these teams met with the same level of passion, and went another 120 minutes, but finished with a slightly different result.
UBC had some good advances early in the first half and opened the match with lots of pressure. However, with the gold medal on the line, the Spartans matched their intensity and both teams played the match through with a sense of urgency.
Thunderbird Jayda Thompson led their charge with speed up the wing, and in many cases, Nisa Reehal joined her to add even more pressure. The Spartans, however, knew to anticipate this duo and responded to UBC’s attempts with a collapsing defense.
In the second half both teams opened with big opportunities. Within minutes both keepers made game altering saves to keep the board scoreless.
UBC found some breakthrough opportunities starting in the 57th minute. Jayda Thompson took a strike from the left side that looked perfect but nailed the post at the last second in a stroke of luck for the Spartans. Moments later Nisa Reehal also got a shot off, but Trinity Western keeper Hannah Miller stopped it.
Sophie Damian copied teammate Jayda Thompson in the 70th minute for another perfect shot that was foiled again at the last second by the post. Trinity Western responded with intensity in the Thunderbird zone during the final minutes, but their efforts didn’t take. At the end of regular time, the game remained scoreless.
Extra time started and the Spartans kept up their assault. They dominated in the additional minutes and kept the pressure in UBC’s end to tally six shots while UBC took none.
Then, in the 119th minute, UBC got their sole opportunity of overtime. They advanced towards the box and Jayda Thompson launched a perfect cross right to Tolnai who popped it off her head and in for the only goal of the match.
The Spartans continued through the final minute, but their efforts didn’t convert, and UBC held on to their lead to win the Glady Bean Memorial Trophy.
BRONZE – Laval Takes Bronze In 1-0 Thriller Over Montréal
With a 1-0 win over the Montréal Carabins, the Laval Rouge et Or takes bronze at the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championship in Kingston, Ont.
There were many chances for both teams in the first half, but after 45 minutes the board remained empty. Laval pushed for scoring opportunities and put an impressive eight shots up, but none dropped. As for Montreal, Mia Tessier was their engine. Just as she’s been all tournament, Tessier pushed through the congested middle to advance the ball for the Carabins.
When Laval wasn’t dominating the play and laying on the shots, they did an excellent job of holding their back defensive line. With coordination from keeper Anne-Marie Laroche, the Rouge et Or defense played with aggressive style that helped them recover with control.
In the second half, Montreal came out with more ferocity and had multiple free kick opportunities on Laval’s side of half. However, the Rouge et Or continued their defensive style from the start and jammed up the box to prevent these opportunities from following through.
Finally, in the 76th minute, Laval had their opportunity. A corner kick helped them find positioning in Montreal’s end, so when a second corner came moments later, they were already lined up making space for Alexie Porier’s kick to take off from the corner and sail perfectly into the net, put the tournament top seeds up a goal.
Both teams fought extremely hard until the end, with Montreal making any change necessary to help their cause. In the final minutes the Carabins moved their keeper into a striker position and left their net—and end of the field—completely empty. These efforts, however intimidating, could not shake Laval’s lead and the Rouge et Or now return home as bronze medalists.
- Katalin Tolnai, UBC
Championship All-Star Team
- GK: UBC, Dakota Beckett
- DEF: Laval, Alexandra Doucet
- DEF: TWU, Tilly James
- DEF: UBC, Sophia Ferreira
- DEF: UBC, Jacqueline Tyrer
- MID: Laval, Elsa Lessard
- MID: Montreal, Mia Tessier
- MID: UBC, Taiya Dennehy
- MID: TWU, Bryana Buttar
- ATT: UBC, Katalin Tolnai
- ATT: TWU, Sophie Crowther
R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award
- UBC Thunderbirds
Final Rankings For 2023:
- Trinity Western
- Ottawa U