Airdrie FC U-14 girls take 3rd place at Provincials
By: Martin Westerbeek
| Posted: Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 11:08 am
Airdrie FC U-14 girls came away with a third-place finish at the Alberta Soccer Tier 3 provincial championships the weekend of March 14 to 16.
Coming into the tournament as one of the bottom ranked teams in the 12 team tournament with representatives from across Alberta, the girls took a 3-0 win over Edmontonís Mill Woods Selects. Leaning on exceptionally strong defense and excellent goal tending by Alexa Rohs and goals were scored by Ashley Smith, Ally Bosch and Sarah Westerbeek.
The second game of the tournament was against Fort St John Strikers (FSJ). Having won their first game 10-1, Airdrie FC girls knew only a win would do to advance to the semi final. With Airdrie taking an early lead 3-1, FSJ battled back to take the lead 4-3. But two consecutive penalties for Airdrie FC had the girls take the lead back 5-4. With FSJ pressing hard for the equalizer it was Madeleine Samuelís goal that gave Airdrie FC a comfortable two-goal cushion to play out the game in the last few minutes for a 6-4 win. Other goals scored by Smith and Madison Stone.
Semifinal action early Sunday morning against Chestermere United, saw two teams battling hard for a place in the final. After a 0-0 score at half time, it was Chestermere that scored three minutes into second half for a 1-0 lead. With Airdrie FC giving it their all, again it was Chestermere scoring for a 2-0 lead. With 10 minutes to go Airdrie FC pressed hard to get back into the game but it was Chestermere that came away with the win advancing to the finals.
With only the bronze-medal game left and the FC girls determined to end their season on a high note, they had to overcome Calgary Rangers U-14. Having lost 5-0 earlier in the season, the girls came out hard taking a 2-0 lead at half time with goals scored by Smith and Ashley Thomson. Halfway through the second half the Rangers pulled back to 2-1 and with three minutes before the end a fumble between the AFC goalie and a defender saw the ball ending up in their own net for a 2-2 draw. With both teams gearing up for a penalty shoot out, it was Smithís direct shot from a kick-in in the dying seconds of the game that gave the AFC girls a much deserved victory for the third place finish.
Gold-medal game action saw the Medicine Hat Rattlers defeat Chestermere United 3-0.