They worked hard to get to the top of the mountain and weren’t about to get pushed off when it mattered most.
Both first-place clubs in the Borderland Soccer League proved their regular seasons were no fluke as they claimed their respective division championships at the Struchan Gilson Soccer Pitches last night.
Myla Angus scored a natural hat trick in the first half and finished with a game-high four goals as the La Place Rendez-Vous U-18 Voyageurs powered past second-place Taggs/Source for Sports 7-2 for the women’s crown.
“We didn’t want it to be like last year when we went to the shootout and we lost,” emphasized Angus about the Voyageurs’ loss to Taggs in the final a season ago.
“I think we played good as a team and had the game under control,” added defensive fullback Siobhan Mackintosh.
Claire Hyatt added a pair for the Vous, who played without leading scorer and women’s league MVP Erin Tomalty (away at a wedding in B.C.) and the league’s choice as top goalkeeper, Bryanna Dustin (prior commitment).
Hyatt also had a nifty header to assist on Angus’ goal in the 29th minute that finished off her hat trick.
Sarah Faragher added a single for the Voyageurs, who went 14-1-1 in what was a dominant regular season.
Sierra Cousineau got the start between the pipes in place of Dustin and helped the Voyageurs to a 4-1 halftime lead.
Cousineau then had to leave at halftime (prior commitment), with Jaymee Fiset taking over and preserving the win by allowing only one goal herself.
Jess Caul, the league’s Golden Boot Award winner as the top scorer in the regular season with 20 goals and was also named the recipient of the Heart and Soul Award for the women’s division in the postgame awards ceremony, fired home both goals for Taggs in a losing cause.
Katie Stearns gave up all seven goals against after arriving approximately 10 minutes into the game along with Taggs striker Marisa Tremblay due to their work commitments with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Stearns took over for starter Jess Badiuk, who was selected the most sportsmanlike player for the women’s division.
In the men’s division title game, the man chosen as the league’s top goalkeeper scored the most important goal of the season as James Pavier played the hero twice in a matter of moments to give Manitou Forest Products a 6-5 victory in the penalty kick shootout over the third-place La Place Rendez-Vous U-18 Voyageurs.
The two sides played to a scoreless draw through regulation, with Pavier and counterpart Alex Gustafson turning aside shot after shot.
But after Pavier stoned men’s division Heart and Soul Award winner Joey Angus with a lunging save to keep the shootout tied 5-5, he had no doubt who would be Manitou’s next—and, as it turned out, final—marksman.
“Once I made that save, I knew I wanted to take it,” grinned Pavier, who calmly walked up and smoked the ball to the bottom right corner of the net past Gustafson for the dramatic game-winner.
“That’s my favourite spot to shoot.”
Other women’s award winners announced last night included Angel McCormack of the Vous for best defensive player and Alina Eldridge of Taggs as rookie of the year.
On the men’s side, Lucas Koomans of International Travel Services was picked as MVP, while Liam Metke of the Vous was selected as the best defensive player.
Nico Kooistra of ITS earned rookie of the year honours, while Caleb Koomans of the Vous was voted most sportsmanlike player.
Manitou’s Ahmadou Idrissou picked up the men’s Golden Boot Award after recording a league-best 17 goals during the regular season.