LANGLEY, British Columbia (Canada West) – The Saskatchewan Huskies earned the Canada West bronze medal and their first trip to the U sport (formally CIS) national championship with a 1-0 victory over the MacEwan Griffins Sunday afternoon at the at Chase Office Field in Langley, B.C.
"It is an unbelievable feeling we have had to play three games and we had to take the tough route," commented Saskatchewan head coach Jerson Barandica-Hamilton. "Yesterday playing Trinity Western I thought our girls battled, but we were very, very tired. But today it was all about finding the little extra bit of motivation. We did well to start strong and create some opportunities and capitalize early and just let our adrenaline push us through."
"It is about setting a culture, setting a program and making sure we are always making nationals and setting an expectation just like the winning programs like UBC and Trinity have done," added Barandica-Hamilton. "We are on our way there and we are extremely proud of what we are trying to accomplish at the University of Saskatchewan and the results are starting to pay off."
Saskatchewan's Taneil Gay opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Huskies midfielder Rebecca Weckworth started the play with a solid strike from the right side. MacEwan keeper Emily Burns made the initial stop but a long rebound went to Gay. Gay had one touch and sent the ball past Burns and into the top right corner of the MacEwan net.
After an evenly played match MacEwan's Meghan Oram almost tied the match in the 88th minute. The second year forward split the Huskies back line and went in alone on Saskatchewan's Kyleigh Vause. Oram went the charging Vause to her left and sent ball towards the open net. Unfortunately for the Griffins the ball rolled just wide of the far right post.
Saskatchewan's Kyleigh Vause made four saves in the win, while MacEwan's Emily Burns made four saves in the loss.
Saskatchewan finished the match with a 12-10 edge in total shots and a 7-3 edge in corner kicks.
The Huskies finish the tournament 2-1, while the Griffins finish 1-2 and in fourth place. Saskatchewan will now head to the CIS women's soccer championships next weekend at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.