The Swift Current Comprehensive High School Ardens won both playoff games last week to clinch a 12th straight Moose Jaw High School Girls Soccer League title.
The Ardens, playing with no subs, defeated the Yorkton Sacred Heart Saints 5-0 in Moose Jaw in the semi-final on Tuesday.
Rookie Dani Meyer led the Ardens with two goals, while veterans Bryn Haubrich, Olivia Koebel, and Tenille Willows all contributed one goal and one assist. Heidi Spetz added an assist and Emma Moen earned the clean sheet in goal.
Saturday, the Ardens responded to their first on-field adversity of the season to defeat the Yorkton Regional Raiders 9-2 in the championship match. The Ardens allowed a goal in the second minute to trail for the first this season. They took a 2-1 lead before Yorkton tied the game 2-2. The Ardens scored two goals before the end of the first half and then responded with five unanswered goals in the second half.
“Well to start with, because of Covid, we only had 11 players eligible for the game therefore played without any subs. Our play was really off to start the game and we conceded the first goal,” explained head coach Dale Perry. “That goal seemed to spark us and we took over control of the game but had trouble finishing. We got stronger as the game progressed and found our finishing touch in the late stages of the first half. After the break we really poured it on.”
Grade 12 Olivia Koebel led the Ardens with four goals and two assists. Haubrich added a goal and three assists. Meyer scored twice, while Willows added a goal and an assist. Spetz also scored, while Mackenzie Metke and Addison Allen added single helpers. Moen earned the win in goal.
The Ardens have now won the league championship in 14 of the 16 seasons that the trophy has been awarded during Perry’s tenure with the Ardens.
“This Covid restricted season was more about just getting to actually play games and less about the competitive aspects of soccer. Last season we never played one game so to get to play the whole regular season was a major accomplishment. This year we took a team picture after our first game because we didn’t know if there would be a second. Now that league is over I can finally reflect on winning our 12th straight league championship and I gotta say it feels pretty good.”
The Ardens will head to Yorkton this weekend for Regionals. 5A SHSAA Provincials will be held the following weekend in Prince Albert.
“The number one issue we need to correct is our starts. Both the league semi final and final we got off to poor starts. We can’t afford to give up early goals against the stronger teams we will be facing at provincials. This week of practice we will be focusing on our defensive play and finishing,” concluded Perry.