By Rebekka Hay
This article highlights Concordia’s Men’s and Women’s soccer teams. This commentary will be particularly monumental as it relays the ACAC (Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference) Soccer Championship weekend.
Firstly, it takes rigorous determination and concentrated effort for the teams to qualify for the ACAC Provincial Championships. For both the men and women, only the top three teams from northern and southern Alberta are selected to compete. This level of soccer is exceptionally elite and exciting to watch. Therefore, it is necessary to congratulate both CUE soccer teams for their consistency and hard work which brought them to this point in the season. Great job guys!
Brynn DeVries is a fifth-year midfielder for the Women’s soccer team. She was able to recount the team’s record for the Provincials weekend, which was hosted at Old’s College.
The first game of the weekend for the women was Friday, October 27 against Medicine Hat College. At only sixteen minutes in, Rebecca Leavell scored the first goal to gain the lead. Rebecca managed to get another goal for Concordia after the half, and while the Medicine Hat Rattlers were able to slip one goal past Concordia’s defense, the Thunder women’s team walked away with a 2-1 win over Medicine Hat to move on to the Semifinals. Rebecca Leavell won Player of the Game for Concordia.
In the semifinals against NAIT, Brynn pointed out that “Concordia dominated the game and maintained possession throughout.” Unfortunately, NAIT managed a 1-0 lead just before half-time, which gave them the win over Concordia. Brynn stated that “the team struggled to finish” in that competition against NAIT. However, while unable to clinch a spot in the finals, the Concordia Women’s team looked to improve their performance and capitalize their gameplay in the Bronze Medal match against SAIT. Gabrielle Bayne succeeded in winning Player of the game for the CUE Thunder.
The Bronze Medal game against SAIT was held on Sunday, October, 29th. The Thunder Women’s team took advantage of SAIT’s several turnovers and they were able to get a 2-0 lead before the end of the first half. Brynn revealed that she and her teammates “created excellent scoring opportunities,” paired with the excellent goalkeeping by Kathleen Lang; our Thunder team was able to celebrate a 4-2 Bronze Medal Victory over the SAIT Trojans. Jill Sander earned the Player of the Game.
Additionally, the following players from Concordia were selected for the All-Conference Teams at the 2017 ACAC Women’s Soccer Championship Banquet Awards:
- Selina Verkland– Goalkeeper
- Madison Kindzierski – Midfielder
- Jaida Stasiuk– Striker
- Nicole Klepic- Defense
For the Thunder Men’s teams, the 2017-18 Soccer Championship was hosted at NAIT. The first game for the Thunder men was Friday, October 27 against Lethbridge University. An exciting match was extended to extra time when the Lethbridge Kodiaks tied up the 3-2 advantage made by Concordia. The tie led to thirty minutes of extra time which was virtually worthless regarding scoring opportunities. Both teams were relentless in their pursuit of a victory. Penalty kicks proved to be the deciding factor when Jake Gallagher of Concordia scored the deciding goal. Adam Ziccarelli earned the Player of the Game for Concordia.
The win thrust Concordia into the semi-finals against the Keyano Huskies on Saturday, October, 28. Concordia battled hard but unfortunately lost to the Huskies 4-0. Jake Gallagher earned Player of the Game for this match.
The Concordia Thunder Men’s team moved on to the Bronze Medal match against SAIT on Sunday, October, 29 at the Emerald Hills Sports Pavilion. Though both sides battled hard, SAIT sneaked one past Concordia to get a 1-0 lead just one quarter into the game. Each team had an excellent performance with SAIT finishing third place in the ACAC and Concordia gaining the fourth spot in the league to finish off their season. Mas Arya won Player of the Game for Concordia.
Finally, the following players were selected from Concordia to be represented on the 2017-18 Men’s Soccer All-Conference Teams at the Championship Banquet:
- Israel Olufuwa- Forward
- Jose Villanueva- Defense
Congratulations to the men and women who represented Concordia for the 2017-18 season of Thunder soccer! We’re all proud of you.