Unlike Junior Super Soccer, Yellowknife doesn’t always have its way when it comes to Senior Super Soccer.Five of the eight banners stayed in Yellowknife when the dust settled from the finals on May 6, but Fort Smith and Hay River made sure they got their share of the spoils.
Paul W. Kaeser High School (PWK) of Fort Smith took one of the big banners up for grabs, that being the U19 AA girls crown by beating Yellowknife’s St. Pat’s in the final, 3-1. It was a reversal of fortunes from the round-robin meeting between the two teams when St. Pat’s beat PWK, 2-0.
Roger Vail was behind the bench for PWK and said it was a long time coming for his girls’ success.
“St. Pat’s put up a great fight, like they always do,” he said. “Our girls believed they could do it and we finally beat them.”
St. Pat’s opened the scoring in the final on a pinball-type goal which went off a St. Pat’s player’s head, then off a PWK player’s head and into the net.
“We stumbled out of the gates,” said Vail. “Our keeper just couldn’t get her hands up in time to stop it.”
PWK scored late in the first half to knot the game at 1-1 and from there, PWK controlled much of the second half with possession soccer.
“They had some good chances, but we played great defence in our own half,” said Vail. “Kristal Gambler controlled things on the back end and we didn’t give them much of a sniff.”
PWK potted two more goals to seal the deal and take the banner back down the highway.
Diamond Jenness Secondary School from Hay River had themselves a good weekend as three of their teams got to championship games. Only one came out on top – the U19 A boys squad – and they did so in quite the fashion, scoring early and often against St. Pat’s on their way to a convincing 13-2 win.
Kelvin Yee coached the boys to victory and said it was like the Midas touch with his team in that everything they touched seemed to turn to gold.
“Everything we did worked in that game,” he said. “We played them in the round-robin and beat them, 4-3, but their goalkeeper didn’t have his best game in the final.”
Diamond Jenness built up a 7-0 lead after the first half and that took some of the pressure off of the boys, said Yee, but the message at halftime was to keep on them.
“You never know with a team like that because they could pop in a few and before you know it, they’re right back in the game,” he said. “I told them to keep the pressure on and not so much attack, but not let them into our zone and give them any chances.”
Yee made some changes to who played with who heading into the final, but he honestly didn’t know what the big difference was.
“We were just clicking on all cylinders and we just outran them,” he said.
Coral Harbour from Nunavut was the other community team that left with a banner thanks to their win over Diamond Jenness in the U19 A girls final.