November 8, 2013, Surrey, B.C. (ISN) — Alanna Bekkering showed why she was the Pacific Western Athletic Association Player of the Year as the five-year veteran led the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack to a 4-1 victory over the Ahuntsic College Indiennes in a bronze medal semifinals match Friday at the 2013 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Soccer National Championship at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, B.C.
Bekkering scored a hat-trick and set up the other goal in a dominating performance that earned her Player of the Match honours.
“We’re still down in the dumps for not getting to the gold medal match. I think we deserved to be there but we had a small lapse for 30 seconds. But knowing we have the team to be there puts a bit of fire in our butts to win bronze,” said Bekkering.
TRU, from Kamloops B.C., came into the match after losing in the quarterfinals to the No. 5 seed Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Ooks in a close 1-0 game that saw the WolfPack surrender the only goal in the first minute. It then beat the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles 5-0 to advance. The PACWEST champions had previously gone undefeated heading into the tournament and has one of the best defences in the CCAA.
Bronze medal games are not new to TRU, having lost the past two at the national championship.
“The girls are really excited to play in the bronze. We are definitely motivated,” said WolfPack coach Tom McManus
The impetus to win a medal in her final year of athletic eligibility is extra motivation for Bekkering who is completing a Bachelor of Arts degree.
The No. 4 seed WolfPack exacted a bit of revenge on the No.3 seed Indiennes after Ahuntsic beat TRU in the quarterfinals of last year’s tournament as well as the 2011 bronze medal game.
Bekkering kicked off the scoring in the 14th minute on a marvelous individual effort after taking a pass at the centre line and using her speed to wrap around a defender on the left side only to cut inside and blast the ball top shelf over Indiennes goalkeeper Josee Anne Nantel-Legault.
“That’s one of my favourites. I’ve actually scored a couple of those this year. It was a defensive corner kick, we cleared it and I just ran after it,” said Bekkering, who tallied 13 goals in 14 league matches.
“She’s been a phenomenal player all year round,” said McManus.
Bekkering made it 2-0 on a penalty kick after Ahuntsic was called for a handball in the 19th minute.
The WolfPack controlled most of the play in the first half but Indiennes midfielder Jessica Mercier had an excellent opportunity to close the gap in the 40th minute when she found herself alone in front of goalkeeper Emily Edmundson, who was able to collect Mercier’s shot to keep the Indiennes scoreless.
Jaydene Radu made it 3-0 by burying a pass from Bekkering inside the goalkeeper’s box.
Following halftime, Bekkering scored her third goal of the match in the 54th minute following a scramble in front of the net. The ball popped loose to Bekkering, waiting on the left side, for an easy tap in to make it 4-0.
TRU closed ranks on the rest of the game and Edmundson stood large, coming up with some good saves off of some desperate Indiennes attackers. The only blemish came in extra time when Audrey Lagarde broke the shutout for the Indiennes.
Forward Stephie-Ann Dadaille took home Player of the Match honours for Ahuntsic, which hails from Montreal, Que.
The WolfPack will play in the bronze medal match Saturday at 11:30 a.m. against the winner of the second bronze medal semifinals between NAIT and the No. 6 seed Algonquin College Thunder.
The Indiennes, who won last year’s championship, can place no better than fifth following a consolation match Saturday at 9 a.m. They were the Quebec Student Sports Federation runners-up this year and entered the tournament as a wildcard team.
CCAA is the governing body for college sports in Canada that oversees five regional sporting associations. Champions from each association gained entry to this year’s national championship, along with two wildcard teams and the host, Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The tournament takes place from Nov. 6 to 9 at Newton Athletic Park and admission is free for children under 18.
Stay up to date with the latest results on the CCAA website: http://www.ccaa.ca/national-championship-s15054