MATCH 9: Douglas Royals 1*, NAIT Ooks 0 (*PKs 4-2)
The first bronze semi-final match saw the ACAC champion NAIT Ooks take on the hosting Douglas College Royals.
The match started out with multiple chances for both the Ooks and Royals, with the hosts nearly scoring just five minutes in. A Douglas free kick was stopped by Toni Burse and the rebound effort was cleared off the line by Yuri Akatsu. Just before the 20-minute mark, a handball in the box gave the Royals a penalty opportunity, but Sam Kell’s effort was robbed by Burse.
The Ooks had several attempts at goal in the opening minutes, but a second yellow for Marissa Webb changed the NAIT gameplan. Happy to sit back, the Ooks fiercely defended a Royals onslaught for about three quarters of the match, reaching the full-time whistle with a goalless draw and forcing the penalty shootout, where the numerical disadvantage would be nullified.
In the penalty shootout, Sam Kell was the first shooter and scored, while NAIT’s first shooter Kayleigh Pepper was stopped by a sprawling Alexa Gazzola. Both Mikaela Montagano and Yumi Ishimura scored in the second round, before Sonali Dholliwar’s effort was saved by Burse and Augustine Gallardo converted to level the score at 2. After Mikayla Hamilton scored for Douglas, Yuri Akatsu’s penalty was put just wide, and Royals keeper Alexa Gazzola scored the final penalty to win the match and send the hosts to the bronze medal match.
4imprint Player of the Game honours went to the two goalkeepers, Toni Burse of NAIT and Alexa Gazzola of Douglas College.
MATCH 10: Fanshawe Falcons 4, VIU Mariners 2
The Fanshawe Falcons mounted a huge comeback to snatch the final spot in the bronze medal match from the VIU Mariners.
The first half was largely quiet, as the strong defences of both teams prevented chances from materializing, with only a few shots for either side.
Early in the second half, the Mariners took control of the game, dominating both on offense on defence. While the Falcons had been getting several good looks at the VIU goal, nearly every attempt to press forward was snuffed out by the formidable Mariners backline.
The VIU attack was prolific right from the start of the second half, as Shae Battie scored an incredible goal less than a minute into the second period of play. Battie’s initial header hit the crossbar, but with both her and the goalkeeper down, Battie showed incredible awareness to get up and calmly execute a beautiful backheel flick to score on the open net. Ten minutes later it was Battie again with a beautiful curling strike from the right edge of the penalty area to double the Mariners’ lead.
In the 66th minute, the Falcons began to turn things around, drawing a penalty that was converted by Jade Kovacevic to cut the lead in half. Less than 5 minutes later, the game was tied as a beautiful team goal was finished by none other than Kovacevic, the 2018 CCAA Women’s Soccer Player of the Year. The Falcons pressed for the go-ahead goal, and they got it, as Kayla McQueen finished off a beautiful series of passes to give the Falcons their first lead of the game.
With less than 10 minutes to play, the Mariners threw everything they had at Fanshawe, but with less defensive presence, the Falcons countered and Chelsea Zavitz put the game out of reach for VIU.
4imprint players of the match were VIU’s Shae Battie and Kayla McQueen of Fanshawe.