By Keith Spruyt
Hello Concordia! Today’s article is all about the CCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship that was recently hosted by Concordia.
Concordia had the privilege of hosting the finest female soccer athletes from the CCAA at the Clareview recreation centre from November 6-9, 2019. Temperatures were nothing short of frigid, reaching as low as -9 C, with a high of only +6 C for a few short hours on Friday. The cold weather certainly had an effect on the athletes, but some very entertaining games were played nonetheless!
Although the host university automatically qualifies for the National Championship regardless of their regular season or provincial championship finish, here’s a bit of how the Thunder did this year before the CCAA tournament. The Thunder earned themselves the second-place spot in the North ACAC division. They boasted an impressive 10-1-1 record, beating NAIT in the process for the first time in over 5 years, as well as having +51 goals for and against stat. Concordia was also graced with 4 ACAC all-conference players this year, as Rebecca Leavell, Tarah Pliska, Paige Martin, and Monica Dickson all picked up the award, which was the most all-conference players from any one school. Concordia was awfully close to qualifying for the National Championship without the need for automatic qualification, as they narrowly lost the ACAC final 3-2 to their eternal rivals, NAIT.
Unfortunately, things did not go quite so smoothly for the Thunder in the National Championship. The Thunder lost their opening game 4-2 to the Saint-Lambert Cavaliers from Quebec, already taking them out of contention for the final. In their next game, which was the bronze quarter-final, Concordia faced the Seneca Sting from Toronto, also losing 3-1 in another close game. Upon losing their second game, the Thunder were knocked out from the tournament, putting an end to their fast paced fast paced season. The final was eventually contested by the Dynamiques de Saint-Foy of Quebec and the VIU Mariners from British Columbia. The final ended 3-0 in favour of the Dynamiques, thus claiming their first ever CCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship. Congratulations to the Dynamiques! The bronze medal was won by the Saint-Lambert Cavaliers as they defeated Ontario’s Fanshawe Falcons by a nail-biting score of 1-0.
I had the chance to speak with third-year athlete Emily Long about the national championship, and she had nothing but good things to say (apart from the weather)! She very much enjoyed the opportunity to compete at such a high level of sport, and was especially fond of playing teams from Quebec. She said that playing against a team who spoke another language really helped to give her a “real national experience.” She also found it exciting that one of TSN’s top sports broadcasters, Natasha Staniszewski, was there covering some parts of the championship, as well as giving a speech to the athletes at the opening banquet.
Finally, congratulations to the Concordia Women’s Soccer team for an incredibly successful season! Go Thunder!