Phoenix falls short in winning RVSA bronze medal
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Monday, Jun 09, 2014 10:28 am
The penalty shootout is one of the most nerve-racking events for any soccer player to take part in, as the back-and-forth nature of a game is quickly switched to a one-on-one contest between the goalkeeper and the shooter.
The Springbank Phoenix boys’ soccer team found itself in that tense situation at Monklands Soccer Park in Airdrie on June 3, but was unable to pull out the win, as the team lost the shootout 3-1 to the Bert Church Chargers and the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) bronze-medal game by a 1-0 score.
“It was disappointing for us to have it go to shootout and not be able to get the win in regulation time,” Phoenix Head Coach Michael Zubkow said.
“The guys played really well, and unfortunately in the shootout, we had a couple of shots go off of the post and the ball bounced correctly in favour of Bert Church.”
“However, it was still a good, close game and both teams played really well,” he added. “It was a real nail-biter from start to finish, and I think the fans that came out here saw a really good match.”
While the Phoenix had a number of chances to score during regulation time, the team was unable to beat Chargers netminder Rohan Bagga, who made a number of big saves to keep his team in the contest.
“Springbank was coming at us all game long, but we stepped up our game a lot as a team,” Bagga said afterwards. “A lot of the guys played their roles, made very few mistakes and that limited their chances to score.”
“The Phoenix did the exact same things that we were doing though, and that made the game a very exciting one, even if no one was able to score until the shootout,” he added.
The loss for the Phoenix in the bronze-medal game put a slight damper on what had been an excellent season for the squad, which finished third in the regular season with a 4-1 record and was the only team to defeat the league champion George McDougall Mustangs all season with a 2-1 win in Springbank on May 20.
“We took them on again in the semi-finals (on May 22) and only lost by a score of 1-0, so we could have been in the finals if the bounces had gone our way,” Zubkow said.
“We did really well this year, especially since we had a lot of guys on our team who had never played high school soccer before,” he added. “The majority of the guys on our team were older students who play hockey on a regular basis, but they meshed well with our younger players to make a strong team.”