The St. Albert Impact premier women spring into the outdoor season as provincial indoor champions.
The Impact suffered only one loss during the winter while winning 17 matches in the Edmonton District Soccer Association before sweeping the four-team round-robin provincials last month in Calgary.
“We’re still on a gold medal high and looking to continue our winning success,” said Impact player Lisa Martin.
Visit www.stalbertgazette.com to view the team picture.
The EDSA premier fixtures kick off April 30 for the Impact against Angels Scottish SC 3 at 2 p.m. at the ESA Complex.
“It’s pretty much the same team with the exception of two players not playing because of other commitments,” Martin said. “Because we have the same team going into outdoor I think that we can have equal success if not better and hopefully we’ll have a clean slate instead of having one loss.”
The Impact were plus-74 in goals for/against while going 17-1 during the EDSA indoor campaign and at provincials scored 13 goals and let in five in three wins.
“Premier is the second best league in Alberta. There is major league and then premier so it’s fairly competitive,” Martin said.
Brittany Kindzierski of the Impact was the league leader in goals with 24 after tying for second in the 2016 outdoor scoring race with 11 for Victoria 2.
“She definitely helped us out throughout the season,” said Martin of the NCAA division one University of Texas at El Paso soccer team member from 2009 to 2013.
Ashley Woodford ranked fourth in indoors’ scoring with 13 goals and netted a team-high three at provincials.
Danica Blasius shared seventh place in goals with nine during indoors and at provincials Nicki St. George, Vanessa Bulmer and Jazmyne Mauthe potted a pair each.
Katie Wallbaum backstopped the Impact to victory at provincials by scores of 5-3 against Alliance of Calgary, 4-2 against Victoria 2 and 4-1 against DK United 1 of Calgary.
Victoria placed second behind the Impact in the EDSA table at 13-2-3 (62 GF/29 GA).
“They were all pretty top quality teams,” Martin said of the provincial tournament. “We ended up actually playing a team that kind of gave us our best run for our money, another Edmonton team during the season, and it was one of our best games against them.
“The Calgary teams also gave us a bit of a run for sure.”
The Impact’s indoor lineup was “one of the older teams actually in the league,” said Martin, 29. “For the most part there is a lot of ex-university and ex-college players and I would say we all kind of stopped playing college soccer around 2011.”
The Impact also benefitted from a strong core of players from last year’s outdoor team that place fourth in premier at 11-7 (35 GF/22 GA).
“Everyone just seemed to really gel on and off the field. We also had a really good coach (Chris Spaidal, the St. Albert Soccer Association’s executive director) kind of step in this year which really helped. He kind of set some discipline and some great practice sessions and really just kind of knew how to work with us,” said Martin, a forward/midfielder with previous ties with the Drillers who will play her first outdoor season with the Impact.
The 2017 Impact premier squad will be joined by Impact 1 and Impact/Inter SC from indoors in the 10-team outdoor table.
Impact/Inter SC finished sixth at 6-10-2 (32 GF/64 GA) and Impact 1 was eighth at 5-11-2 (44 GF/50 GA).
Impact/Inter SC is comprised mostly of Impact players moving up from youth to senior.
The 2016 Inter SC premier team was fifth at 6-8-2.
The first Impact/Inter SC outdoor match is April 30 against Hearts United at 2 p.m. at Rollie Miles Athletic Grounds.
Impact 1 is a combination of the 2016 Impact outdoor Tier I provincial champions, 13-4-4 (58 GF/170) overall as the EDSA division 1B pennant winners, and the 2016 Impact premier team.
The outdoor season opener for Impact 1 is April 30 against Angels Scottish SC 2 at noon at the ESA Complex.
In division 1A, the Impact 2 team is the 2016 division 2A outdoor side that lost the provincial bronze medal match.
The division 2A Impact’s overall record of 14-4-4 (71 GF/26 GA) included a first-place finish for promotion into division one.
The Impact 2 fixtures kick off May 1 against the Edmonton Warriors at 7 p.m. at W.P. Wagner High School.
The St. Albert Impact U15 Tier I girls turned in a strong showing at the Whitecaps FC Showcase tournament last weekend in Surrey, B.C.
The Impact won their first game, 6-0 over Thompson Okanagan, tied Surrey FC 1-1 and lost 2-0 to Vancouver Island Wave.
The West Coast teams are approximately three-quarters through their season and are game fit and sharp. They will be competing at the B.C. provincials in June while the Impact have yet to play a league match.
Surrey lost the U14 national final to Calgary Foothills 2-1 and Foothills beat the Impact 2-0 in the provincial final.
Against the Wave, the Impact hit three crossbars and had a point-blank header stopped by the goalkeeper.
The St. Albert Women’s Soccer League is hosting outdoor training sessions Sunday from 3 to 4 p.m. and April 30 from 4 to 5 p.m. at Riel Recreation Park.
The sessions are open to all SAWSL players and coaches.
The intent is to ensure teams stay off city fields until they open while providing an opportunity to shake the rust off.
Visit the SAWSL Facebook page or www.eteamz.com/sawsl/ for more information.