George McDougall Mustangs win RVSA boys’ soccer championship
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jun 05, 2014 06:00 am
For the first time since 2009, the George McDougall Mustangs are the top boys’ soccer team in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA).
The Mustangs clinched the RVSA divisional title at Monklands Soccer Park on June 3 with a convincing 4-1 win over the Cochrane Cobras, which was trying to win its fourth straight league championship.
“It feels great to be able to finally win this,” Grade 12 attacking midfielder Gabe Statnyk said. “We’ve been knocked out of the playoffs by Cochrane over and over again the last couple years, so to be able to end their streak is a big deal for us.”
“We were mentally focused all game long, and we really wanted to reach our goal of winning the RVSA title,” he added.
The championship contest, which was originally going to take place on May 29 but was postponed due to inclement weather conditions earlier that day, played out in a similar fashion to the regular season game between George McDougall and Cochrane on May 15 that the Mustangs won 3-1.
Sam Gagne, Colin Purnell, and Travis Godard all found the back of the net in the first half to give the Mustangs a 3-0 lead at halftime, which was cut down to a two goal cushion when Cochrane’s Dominik Zuczek converted a penalty kick early in the second half.
The Cobras would continue to pressure the Mustangs for the rest of the game, but Gagne’s second goal of the match with only a few minutes remaining sealed the win for George McDougall.
“Our strategy was pretty similar to when we played them the first time around,” Mustangs Coach Iain Cain said.
“Cochrane’s a good team that plays a strong style of game, and they can punish you at any time with their abilities.”
“We got those goals early in the first half, and we were able to shut down Cochrane’s chances throughout the game,” he added. “Cochrane kept pressing right until the end to try and tie it up, and I have to give them a lot of credit for playing a strong game.”
Chargers win bronze medal
At the same time as the RVSA gold medal game was taking place, the Bert Church Chargers wrapped up its season with a victory of their own, as they clinched the bronze medal over the Springbank Phoenix by a score of 1-0.
After both teams were unable to score in regulation time, a penalty kick shootout was needed to determine the winner, with the Chargers coming out on top 3-1.
“It was nerve wracking for me as a coach to watch it,” Chargers Coach Fraser Hunter said.
“I’ve never really had a good record with penalty kicks, so I wasn’t really excited that the game had to end like that.”
“As a goalie you just need to try and guess what the shooters are doing, which is what I tried to do,” Chargers Goaltender Rohan Bagga added.
“We all tried to stay calm as a team before the shootout, and it looked like it paid off for us.”