The spoils really were shared at Senior Super Soccer in Yellowknife this year.
The AA banners all stayed in the capital as Sir John Franklin and St. Pat’s high schools each won two of them while the A banners left.
Three of them went to Hay River as Diamond Jenness Secondary School won the boys and girls U15 titles along with the U19 girls crowns. The three banners meant they ended up taking home the most if you’re counting by school.
Diamond Jenness’ U15 boys team defeated St. Pat’s to win their title by a score of 2-1 in a shootout and it ended up being one of the more exciting deciders of the weekend.
Phil Goguen helped coach the Panthers to victory and he said it was an even contest from start to finish.
“Very exciting game to be a part of,” he said. “Lots of great saves from the goalkeepers, great defending by both teams and it was just an amazing game.”
The Panthers opened up the scoring late in the first half and they held St. Pat’s off the scoreboard until the waning minutes as the equalizer came late in the second half. Extra time solved nothing, meaning it was off to the dreaded shootout.
Goguen said it was Jack Irwin who provided the heroics in the shootout.
“Our starting goalkeeper got hurt so Jack came in for the second half and he played outstanding,” he said.
Irwin stopped two of the shots he faced while the other two missed the net and one got past him. Diamond Jenness put two into the St. Pat’s goal to clinch victory.
Goguen said it was a young team that played this year and he’s hoping to go one better next year.
“I’d like to get into the AA playoffs if we could,” he said. “The way it goes is if you win your first playoff game, you go into the AA and if you lose, you go for A.”
With the Panthers winning three, that left one A banner to be won and that went to East Three Secondary of Inuvik as they downed Sir John Franklin of Yellowknife in the U19 A boys final, 3-0.
Coach Colin Pybus said it was a true hodgepodge of players but they all came together and played great as a team.
“We had our kids who had some soccer background and we had kids who simply came out to practice and played their hearts out,” he said.
East Three opened up the scoring quickly thanks to two goals in the early going, which gave them a chance to control the flow of the play, he added.
“We got up 2-0 in the first 10 minutes and we were able to start integrating everyone into the game,” he said. “We put out our stronger players in the early part to establish ourselves and once we did that, everyone got a chance to get out there.”
He said everyone played at least five minutes in the title contest.
As for next year, Pybus said he’d like to get into the AA playoffs but he knows that would be a tough ask.
“Yellowknife has almost all of the strongest players in the territory and they also have the Fieldhouse,” he said. “No other community has a Fieldhouse that they can play on so that gives them an advantage right away. I’d like to be in the AA playoffs but it would be very difficult to do so.”