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Thunder Women’s Soccer Travel to Grande Prairie for ‘an Inch’

Posted on: Sep 29, 2014

It took 461 km for the Concordia Thunder Women’s Soccer team to move within an inch of qualifying for the ACAC playoffs.  The Thunder played a pair of games in Grande Prairie this past weekend and earned a split with the tenacious Wolves. Concordia earned a 1-0 victory in Saturday’s match in front of a full capacity stadium filled with what seemed like the boisterous cast of the film ‘Animal House’.  Third year veteran Alexa McGillivray scored her first of the season and the winning goal near the end of the first half.  Earning the nickname ‘Phone Booth’, she was able to receive a cross ball from the flank and quickly created space for herself in the well defended area of the 18 yard box to put the Thunder ahead.  The women maintained the majority of ball possession but the Wolves’ work rate and pressing game kept it tense right up to the final breaths of the game when they were awarded a corner kick.  With the ball soaring toward the net and the fans chanting for an equalizer, Concordia defended and sent the ball away to the sound of the final whistle.  “These are the games you want to be in,” said Coach Imbrogno.  ‘The girls were outstanding today in many ways and so too, were their fans.”
The following morning the outcome was quite different.  The women started the game in similar fashion controlling the run of play but this time they seemed off their game, causing too many unforced errors throughout the pitch; usually a sign of fatigue and the play of the opposition.  “Grande Prairie were operating on all cylinders today.  They played direct and played a high pressure game throughout the 90 minutes.”  Concordia had chances early in the match but were unable to score and that left an opening for the Wolves.  The Thunder taking a foul late in the first half was what Grande Prairie wanted and took advantage of Concordia’s inability to quickly set up their defending wall for the set piece.  The Wolves played a through ball as Concordia were caught asleep with their back to the play.  “This is soccer 101,” said Imbrogno. “You never turn your back on the ball."  From that moment on, the Concordia ladies looked turned off and allowed the Wolves easy access into the defending area and watched them score five answered goals for the 5-0 loss. Chalk it up to inexperience, chalk it up to fatigue, or chalk it up to an aggressive team and fans. Regardless, the Thunder are now in an envious position.  With three games remaining in the schedule they are in a position where their fate lies in their own hands. One more point will see them through to the ACAC playoffs.  “It’s where we want to be; a position where we control our destiny. We’re on a working curve with this group and we have seen some great moments and some, well, not so great moments, but we are on a good path,” concluded Coach Imbrogno.
The Thunder will continue their journey with two away games next weekend versus NAIT (Saturday at Noon) and King’s Sunday at 2 PM).