Huskies are provincial soccer champs
Two consecutive banners for Sturgeon Heights girls
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This article was published 21/06/2016 (2297 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Sturgeon Heights Huskies girls soccer team wasted no time during the lightning-quick high school soccer season and earned itself a second consecutive championship win in a final against the St. Mary’s Academy Flames.
The June 4 championship game ended in a shootout with a final score of 3-2 for Sturgeon Heights. Throughout the season and the final game, the two teams were tightly matched and either could have won the title. The Huskies’ synchronicity on the field — more so than rigorous practices — won in the end.
“It’s been back and forth,” midfield Kaitlin Clowes said.
The teams met three times in regular play, each winning one and tying the third. The Huskies lost in their first championship game together but pulled through in the final game.
“There were three minutes left and it was one-nothing for us, and then they scored, so I thought we were going to win until that happened,” Clowes said.
“They scored in overtime against us and then we got a penalty shot with a minute left in overtime to tie it up, and then go to penalties, so it was pretty outrageous,” coach Guy North said.
North said that with only about three weeks in the season and two or three games a week, he didn’t do much in terms of strategizing with the girls during the few practices they did have — they did that on the field during games.
“These girls all play on club teams and it gets really tough to have time to practice,” North said. “Once playoffs started happening it was just games and getting ready and tapping into their skills and their knowledge of their teams, and since they play on these other teams they know their opposition… they know them very well.
“More than anything else it’s team discussion and figuring out who have they got to watch out for, what are their tendencies.”
Clowes, striker Shae-Lynn Dodds and midfield Danika Coward make up the three Grade 11 players on the team, and according to North have been a big part of the team’s success since they joined in Grade 9.
“I would say our midfields are an extremely significant part of controlling the game, controlling the field out there and Shae is our top scorer,” North said.
“We play as a team,” Coward said of their strengths.
“We’re pretty quick, we move the ball fast, and we have a good goalie,” Dodds added.
“On the coaching side of things, I’ve had teams where you’re like ‘Oh it’s a little weak here,” North said. “And I don’t have that feeling. We’ve got 10 super strong girls out here and a few extra that you aren’t even playing so it’s been fun to be a part of it… just to be part of a team that is so good.”
Although they’ll be saying goodbye to excellent Grade 12 players, North has confidence that his Grade 11s will make room for the rookies and make them feel welcome for another solid year.