CALGARY, ALTA., (Oct. 28, 2018) — The SAIT Trojans women's soccer team fought hard, but did not come away with the medal of their choosing.
On Sunday afternoon, the Trojans gave up a goal in their 109th minute of play to fall 2-1 in overtime to the NAIT Ooks in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Soccer Championship final played at SAIT's Cohos Commons Field.
"We had a good, solid game plan and so did they. I thought it was an excellent game to watch," said Trojans head coach, John Talerico. "I thought we played well. We just came up short."
Sunday's championship final was the first for SAIT since they won it all back in 2002.
The news was not all bad for the Trojans, however. By way of simply making it to the championship final, they have earned a berth at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championship – hosted by Douglas College in Coquitlam, B.C. in two weeks.
"We wanted to win that game so bad," Talerico said with a smile. "It's hard to lose any game, but today I don't think we could have asked any more from our team. They worked so hard."
In a game that was very evenly-matched, the Trojans and Ooks both recorded their fair share of scoring chances.
But, it would be the Ooks who would get on the board first when Yumi Ishimura beat Trojans goalkeeper Amy Offredi (3rd year, Calgary, Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant).
After stewing on the deficit at half, SAIT came out firing in the second half and were rewarded early on when Deanna Kuan (3rd year, Edmonton, Alta., Business Administration) broke through the defense, lost the ball, regained control and made a sliding kick in which the ball rolled off the inside of the left post and in.
"We just kept playing the same way we had all year and kept pushing forward, and we eventually got one to go," said Talerico. "It was a great quick play, all the way from Skye (Gordon) to Sage (Meyers) who made a nice turn and pass; it's what we have been practicing all year."
Tied after 90 minutes of play, the teams then went to two 15-minute halves in overtime.
Scoreless after the first half, NAIT took advantage of a tired SAIT team early in the second 15-minute period.
While setting up for a corner kick, the Ooks made a quick pass to Yuri Akatsu that caught the Trojans off guard.
Akatsu looked up, looked down, and fired an absolute missile into the top right corner of the net to take the lead and win the game.
"It was a nice goal. The way she struck that ball was class," Talerico admitted.
Kuan and teammate Mataya Blakney (5th year, Calgary, Bachelor of Business Administration) were named Tournament All-Stars.