by Dylan Short
The NWT is on top once again in women’s futsal after the territory won the gold medal final of the junior category at the 2018 Arctic Winter Games.
Team NT’s girls team saw seven out of a possible nine players returning to play from the juvenile team that won gold two years ago at the 2016 AWG in Nuuk, Greenland. The nailbiter saw the
Canadians come back from a two goal deficit with five minutes left in the final to defeat the hometown team in overtime.
This year, it was the same two teams meeting in the finals and NWT secured their second gold in a 4-2 regulation win over Team Greenland. The feeling of winning a gold a second time was even sweeter in front of the hometown crowd.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls, they played excellent and intense and they’re so supportive of each other,” said Tonya Huck, the head coach of the team. “I think it’s a little sweeter being able to defend at home with all the girl’s parents here.”
“Last time we had like 250 people cheering against us, this time we had everyone cheering for us,” added Wren Acorn, one
of the seven returning players on the team.
“This is our home turf and we didn’t want to let them beat us here.”
While there is a third division in women’s futsal at the games – intermediate female, which allows girls to play up to the age of 18 – Acorn explains there will be a number of girls from this year’s team that will age out of the competition due to a change in the year of birth defining who will be eligible to play at the 2020 games in Whitehorse, Yukon. Acorn said this gave the team extra motivation to bring home a second gold.
“This is actually the last time our team, specifically, will play altogether because they’re changing the age group,” Acorn said. “We just really wanted to come out and show what we could do.”
Team NT also brought home bronze ulus in the intermediate and juvenile womens futsal division, while the boys teams placed fourth and fifth in the juvenile and junior divisions, respectively.