Mavericks score medals
Bronze for St. Albert Women's Soccer League team at Tier IV provincials
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 06:00 am
ESA Complex – The only loss of the season didn’t stop Mavericks 09 from winning a medal at Tier IV provincials.
The top division one team in the St. Albert Women’s Soccer League tallied twice in the second half to edge Static FC 2-1 in Monday’s bronze-medal match.
“Third place is awesome,” said centre-midfielder Alison Johannesen. “We’re very proud.”
The result equaled the highest finished by a SAWSL team at provincials, when the Morinville Ladies captured bronze in Tier IV in 2005.
Two years ago the Mavericks finished fourth as the SAWSL reps.
“We were hoping to get as far as we could at provincials this year so this means a lot to us, especially after that first loss,” Johannesen said.
The Mavericks are 15-0 in league play and were winners of two straight at provincials before Sunday’s 2-1 setback to WSC Storm to close out the group I round robin. At stake was a berth in the gold-medal final.
“It was hard to accept but it says a lot for our team to be able to come out here and not let that one loss, our first loss, get us down,” Johannesen said. “If anything, that first loss gave us more motivation to win today. We were very fired up. We wanted to come out as hard as we could.”
The Mavericks were plagued by injuries while battling a wicked cross-field wind and an unforgiving turf field at Fuhr Sports Park in Spruce Grove.
“It was really frustrating. A lot of our passes with the wind and the turf – it just bounces already pretty quickly and then with the wind it just made it go even further – and we just could not control it. We had to keep it down and it wasn’t going for us,” Johannesen said. “We also had three people injured [Leanne Kovacs, Jen Bruinsma and Christy Debienne] during the game and that sort of deflated us a little bit but we still fought really hard.”
Sam Kinniburgh and Lane Gagnon were also on the bench nursing injuries from Saturday’s games.
Head coach Shane Moore said the Storm deserved to win.
“They capitalized on our mistakes and we struggled to get the ball going forward,” he said. “I would like a crack at them in better conditions. I think the way we played was severely hampered by the wind.”
Johannesen was credited with the tying goal halfway through the second half against the Storm, 14-0 in the Tier 4 Atterbury division in the Edmonton District Soccer Association. In the final the Storm lost 3-2 to Hustlers FC of Calgary.
“They played really well,” Johannesen. “The first goal for them [in the first half] was really well deserved. The second one [late in the game], with the wind, it went up and hit off the crossbar and the girl just tapped it in.”
The Mavericks were slow out of the gate against Static and gave up the opening goal in the eighth minute while going against a brisk wind. The first-place division 3C team in the EDSA peppered keeper Krista Gordon with a plethora of shots but were unable to add to its lead.
The Mavericks looked like a different team in the second half with the wind at their backs.
“The players on our team are overall consistent, have a lot of athletic motivation and want to fight. That one goal was not going to defeat us so we made sure we had no regrets on the field,” said Johannesen.
Her penalty shot marker early in the second half knotted the score. Moore picked the reliable Maverick to do the honours.
“I was like, ‘Please, Shane don’t call me,” but he did so I went, ‘OK, I’m going to take it.’ I wanted to get it far left and as hard as I could so [the keeper] couldn’t try and get it. That’s what I tried to do and it worked,” Johannesen said.
With 20 minutes remaining, Schulz tracked down a through ball and let loose a shot from close range that was blocked, but with great second effort kicked in the rebound for her tournament-leading seventh goal.
Schulz was also the Golden Boot Award winner as the leading division one scorer this year with 17 goals.
“I knew if we could keep it close in the first half we would get it done. Once we got the wind there was no way they could keep up,” Moore said.
In the tournament opener Schulz struck three times and Lindsey Hornung also connected in the 4-0 decision over LaPerle, another EDSA team.
The next game was a 9-0 drubbing of the Lakeland Lakers. Schulz and Bruinsma posted hat-tricks, Debienne potted a pair and Hornung also scored.
The Mavericks will now focus on Sunday’s final against Morinville (12-4) for the division one playoff cup. Kickoff is 5 p.m. at Eldorado field.
“We want to do the same thing as we did today, go as hard as we can and leave everything on the field,” said Johannesen, 28.