Senior defender Madison Kelly (Dartmouth, N.S.) scored the penalty kick winner as the No. 8-seeded and host Acadia Axewomen captured the title of U Sports women’s soccer consolation champions in a 1-0 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies in penalty kicks.
In the consolation round, all tied games resort to penalty kicks immediately, instead of two overtime halves of 15 minutes each.
The opening half saw considerable offensive pressure by the Huskies, outshooting Acadia 6-1. A turn-around was imminent as the hometown Axewomen played the sidelines to elevate their offensive opportunities.
Team captain and senior midfielder Michelle Pryde (Calgary, Alta.) noted the changes made in the second half to become more effective.
“We just said, ‘Let’s play the ball on the ground and stop the long balls, since we don’t have the legs for that right now and switch the field,’ because we were attacking their left side over and over again. ‘Play the feet, movement off the ball and switch the field of play,” noted Pryde.
The strategy worked as the Axewomen added five shots-on-goal opportunities to turn the tables on a first half that was dominated by the Huskies.
With less than a minute remaining, a shot by Erica Hindmarsh (Saskatoon, Sask.) deflected off the cross bar, allowing the game to head into penalty kicks.
The Huskies will head home with heads held high with a 1-2 record in their first visit to the CIS national championship tournament.
For some, a consolation championship may fall short of the ultimate goal, but Pryde was proud of her team and her own accomplishments while at Acadia.
“To come to Acadia and be in my first year dead last in the AUS and then finished fifth in the country means so much and I can’t put it into words. It’s such a special thing to be a part of and to know I was one piece of the puzzle as well as every other girl that was here and even before us who began to build the program since Amit (Batra) started coaching is really special,” concluded Pryde.
With the consolation round completed, all eyes will be on tomorrow’s bronze medal game between the UOIT Ridgebacks and Queen’s Gaels scheduled at Noon (AT), followed by the championship game as the No. 1 seeded UBC Thunderbirds defend their U Sports title against the No. 2 Laval Rouge et Or at 2:30 p.m. (AT).
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times Atlantic)
Thursday, Nov. 10
12:00 Quarter-final 1: Laval (5) vs Saskatchewan (0)
14:30 Quarter-final 2: UOIT (1) vs. Trinity Western (0)
17:00 Quarter-final 3: StFX (0) vs. Queen’s (1)
19:30 Quarter-final 4: UBC (1) vs. Acadia (0)
Friday, Nov. 11
12:00 Consolation 1: Saskatchewan (1) vs. Trinity Western (0)
14:30 Consolation 2: StFX (1) vs. Acadia (2)
17:00 Semifinal 1: Laval (2) vs. UOIT (1)
19:30 Semifinal 2: Queen’s (0) vs. UBC (1)
Saturday, Nov. 12
12:00 5th-place game Saskatchewan (0) vs. Acadia (1)