Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Overtime goal gives Garden City soccer title

  • Print
The Garden City Fighting Gophers celebrate their provincial soccer championship. The Gophers beat Dakota on an overtime goal by MVP Kailyn Balfour.

PHOTO BY AVI SAPER Enlarge Image

The Garden City Fighting Gophers celebrate their provincial soccer championship. The Gophers beat Dakota on an overtime goal by MVP Kailyn Balfour. Photo Store

The celebration was slightly delayed, but that just made it sweeter for the Garden City Collegiate girls’ soccer team.

Kailyn Balfour scored the golden goal in the second half of extra time to give the Fighting Gophers a 2-1 win over the Dakota Lancers in the provincial championship game on June 5.
The Gophers held a 1-0 lead until late in the game thanks to a first-half goal by Brittany Dyck. But the Lancers came up with the tying goal and forced ‘golden goal’ extra time (sudden death).

Garden City co-captain Cheryl Malamion said despite her team being only minutes away from hoisting the championship banner, the Gophers never panicked and never doubted that they would find the winning goal.

"We told everyone to forget about it and keep their heads up," Malamion said. "Obviously everyone did a good job."

When Balfour’s free kick beat the Dakota goalkeeper, it was a mixture of relief and pure joy for Malamion, a Grade 10 defender who lives in Garden City.

"I was so nervous when she lined up the kick," said Malamion, who also play for Chico’s School of Soccer Excellence. "After it went in it was just excitement. We were all so happy."
Malamion said she had a good feeling about the team ever since its first game of the season, a 4-1 win over Oak Park.

"I like how we played together, and I knew we would be really good," she said.

Jozefa Azevedo, the Gophers’ other captain, wasn’t as quick to start believing that the team would be bringing a championship banner to the school.

"It took me a little longer," said the Grade 12 Garden City resident, who also plays for Chico’s. "Once we beat St. Mary’s in the semifinal I liked our chances."

Azevedo said the win was special to her because it was her last chance to win a championship before graduating.

"It’s pretty cool that when I come back to the school in five years I’ll be able to see my name signed on a banner in the gym," she said.

Margaret Stromecki, one of four 2010 graduates of Garden City who coached the team, said some indoor practices before the snow melted helped the team get off to a good start when the shortened season finally kicked off.

"We had more girls try out than ever, and we could sense we were going to have a good team," she said. "The girls like to work together and support each other, and it shows on the field."
With a diverse mix of players from Grades 9 through 12, Stromecki said she was excited about the long-term prospects of the program.

"We should be pretty good next year," she said.

Along with Belfour being named tournament MVP, Garden City’s Miranda Lamb and Sabrina Ferraz were named tournament all-stars.

The school was one goal away from a soccer sweep, but the boys’ team fell 1-0 to Miles Mac in the final.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Fall Arts Guide

We preview what’s new and what’s coming up in Winnipeg’s new arts season

View our Fall Arts Guide

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Do you think Canada Post should be responsible for clearing snow away from its community mailboxes?

View Results