Thunder Women’s Soccer Take Silver at ACAC ChampionshipPosted on: Nov 2, 2015
The Concordia Women’s Soccer team made the long trek up to Grande Prairie this past weekend to vie for the 2015 ACAC Women’s Soccer Championship. The Thunder ladies have had an impressive season leading into the tournament and on Thursday evening they continued the impressive streak by winning a total of six All-Conference North awards at the tournament banquet. Leading the All-Conference awards for Concordia were first year players Jaida Stasiuk (forward) and Selina Verkland (goalie), second year player Maggie Boras (defender) and third year players Laura D’Andrea (midfield) and Brynn DeVries (defender). For the second year in a row, Head Coach Franco Imbrogno received the Coach of the Year award.
It was a thriller of a weekend on the soccer pitch as well. Concordia’s quarter-final opponent was a rematch of the 2014 semi-finals which saw the Thunder concede a last minute goal to lose against the top seeded Medicine Hat Rattlers. This year, Concordia turned the tables and defeated the Rattlers by a score of 2-1. Next was a semi-final match against this year’s top seed of the south, the Red Deer Queens. The Thunder ladies dominated the run of play throughout the majority of the game and booted the Queens off their top seeded throne with a 1-0 victory. “It was a complete game,” stated Coach Imbrogno. “Our quick movement of the ball and our player movement off the ball was the best it’s been all season.” The victory not only advanced Concordia to the Gold Medal match vs their crosstown rival NAIT, it also qualified them for the CCAA Championship in Peterborough, Ontario as the ACAC holds a wild card birth to the National Championship.
On the ACAC Championship Sunday, Concordia concluded their third game in as many days, losing in an entertaining game to the north top seed NAIT by a score of 4-1. Three games in three days took its toll on the Thunder. “No excuses, but it’s challenging for any team to be efficient on the third day after two previous physical games. We felt positive going in to today’s final, in our ability in getting the ball up and creating opportunities,” said Imbrogno. Being down 1-0 at the half, Concordia started the second stanza by pressing and creating opportunities, but unfortunately around the 65 minute mark of the game, NAIT scored to go up two. “Down at half and conceding a second, we had to change our system. We moved players forward in an attempt to tie the game, but that often exposes the defensive unit. It’s the risk you take as a coach.”
With the Silver Medals around their necks, the Thunder will indeed be making their way to Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario for the 2015 CCAA National Championship which will take place from November 11th to 14th.