Airdrie soccer squads compete at provincials
Five Airdrie FC soccer teams took to fields around the province Aug. 17 and 18, as they concluded their seasons in the Alberta Provincial Soccer championships.
“This is the pinnacle of their seasons, and everyone really looks forward to taking part in it,” said Airdrie and District Soccer Association President Annette Cameron.
This year, two of the Airdrie FC teams played on their home field, as the U14 boys’ and girls’ squads took part in the Tier 3 provincial championships at Monklands Soccer Park.
“We usually try to host a provincial (game) here (because) we know we will have local teams in it,” Cameron explained. “It depends from year-to-year if we get one, but it’s always a big event for us when we do.”
“We also hosted the boys’ and girls’ U12 Tier 1 provincials this year, but that was because of a shortage of fields in Calgary,” she added.
The U14 boys’ team finished in third place in Group 1 with a 0-1-1 record, after they lost 7-1 to Grassland Soccer (Brooks) and drew Edmonton Xtreme 2-2 in round robin play.
The hometown squad was hoping to finish its tournament on a winning note in the eighth-place game against the SW Sting (Edmonton) on Aug. 18, but came out on the losing end of a 3-2 score that was decided by penalty kicks.
“The shootout was nerve wracking for everyone, but I thought the guys did great even though they lost,” Head Coach McAllan Aruna-Kallis said.
“The boys came together and played really confident football (soccer), and they enjoyed working with one another.”
Gregory Dempsie and Tinotenda Dandajena both found the back of the net for Airdrie FC in their loss to the Sting.
The U14 girls’ team finished at the bottom of the Group 1 standings in their round robin play here, as it concluded its three-game slate with a 0-1-2 record.
After starting off the tournament with a 4-4 draw against CNS Milan of Calgary, Airdrie FC struggled to find the back of the net in its last two group games, and suffered a 5-0 loss to the MW Selects (Edmonton) and were whitewashed 7-0 by Cochrane.
Hayley Nassichuk-Dean ended her team’s scoring drought in the seventh place playoff game against the Camrose Impact, but it was not enough as her team fell by a score of 2-1.
“We were in a tough spot as we only had 12 girls that were available, and we only had 11 players for a couple of games due to injuries, so we couldn’t make any substitutions,” Head Coach Martin Westerbeek said. “But the girls never gave up out there, and that’s what I look for as a coach.”
The U12 girls’ team from Airdrie FC was the highest finishing local squad in the provincial championships this year, as it nabbed a fifth-place showing at the Tier 3 event in Coaldale, AB.
Tristen Brinson, Cliah Joyce, and Alexa Rohs all scored for Airdrie in the fifth place game, as it took a 3-1 win over the Millwoods Selects.
Meanwhile, the boys’ U12 and U16 squads each got seventh-place results at their provincial championships.
At the boys’ U12 Tier 3 event in Coaldale, Tyler Quinn led the way for the U12’s with a hat-trick performance in a 6-2 win over the Taber Titans in the seventh-place game.
Spencer Tapp potted a pair of goals in that contest, with Oladipo Olatona also adding to the scoreboard.
The boys’ U16 squad, meanwhile, picked up seventh place result at the Tier 2 championships in Red Deer with a 2-1 win over SWU Milan of Calgary.
Prinex Roberts and Samuel Schuetz both scored for Airdrie FC in that contest.