2018 Women's Soccer Championship Preview

2018 Women's Soccer Championship Preview

by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips

As in the case with the 2018 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championships, the same six schools will be represented at the 2018 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Championships:  Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder, The Kings University Eagles, Lethbridge Kodiaks, NAIT Ooks, Red Deer Kings and SAIT Trojans.

The teams will all play on Cohos Commons Field's state-of-the-art synthetic turf field, home of the SAIT Trojans.

Defending champion Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves failed to qualify for the postseason while sporting a 2018 record of four wins, four losses and two ties.

The new kids on the block are The Kings University Eagles, making their first appearance in women's postseason action.

Here are thumbnail sketches of the respective teams.

2018 ACAC Women's Soccer Championships Schedule

Game 1

Friday October 26, 2018 9:30 a.m. Quarter final

Lethbridge College Kodiaks vs. The Kings University Eagles

Lethbridge College Kodiaks

Head Coach: Sean Carey

2018 Record:  6 wins 4 losses 2 ties 21 goals for 12 goals against

ACAC Championships: 1

Top Scorers; Bryce Sherring 5 goals 3 assists, Vicki Noronha 6 goals

Kodiaks have a motivation with "Play for Payden" in 2018 as their teammate Payden Olsen, named Newcomer of the Year in 2017, lost her right foot in an accident at her home in Cardston this past August.

Kodiaks last ACAC provincial appearance was in 2015 losing to the Wolves 3-0 in the quarterfinals.

"We tried to change the mentality of this team," said head coach Sean Carey at the start of the season. "We had a very good team of individuals last year; this year is going to be more of a team-oriented base. We've got guys out there who just work and work and work, and they're there for their teammates."

The Kings University Eagles

Head Coach: Richard Haxby

2018 Record:  5 wins 2 losses 3 ties 17 goals for 17 goals against

ACAC Championships: 0

Top Scorers:  Gabriella Rocque 7 goals 2 assists, Aimee Tiemstra 4 goals 4 assists

Since entering the ACAC women's soccer program in 2002 The Kings University Eagles had won only 19 regular season games.  Their 17 goals for and 17 goals allowed this year are a new standard from their best ever 16 goals for (2006) and worst 65 goals allowed (2003).

Eagles are on a three-game winning streak having beat University of Alberta Augustana 1-0 and 4-0 and the Keyano College Huskies 3-0.

Kings University Eagles grab the No. 15 spot in CCAA polling.

Game 2

Friday October 26, 2018 2 p.m. Quarter final

Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder vs. Red Deer College Queens

Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder

Head Coach: Franco Imbrogno

2018 Record:  5 wins 2 losses 3 ties 17 goals for 17 goals against

ACAC Championships: 2

Top Scorers:  Rebecca Leavell 13 goals 2 assists, Kennedy Hay 3 goals 2 assists

Concordia University of Edmonton will host the 2019 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women's Soccer National Championship from November 6-9, 2019.

The Thunders complete 2018 roster are Alberta trained athletes.

Six players graduated from Edmonton's Archbishop O'Leary.

Red Deer College Queens

Head Coach: Esad Elkaz

2018 Record:  8 wins 2 losses 2 ties 33 goals for 14 goals against

ACAC Championships:  0

Top Scorers:  Haley Nassichuk-Dean 11 goals, Mikayla Fujimoto 4 goals

Last time the Queens made it past the regular season was 2015 with a South Division best eight wins and two ties. They were upset by the Thunder 1-0 in the semifinal held in Grande Prairie.

A total of 12 rookies are listed on the roster.

Queens defender Bronwyn Pfeifle was quoted at the start of the season, ""We are a fast paced team and everyone has fast feet. We seem to think one step ahead which will be a big advantage. Everyone had a connection right away and we do things together off the field as well."

Red Deer Queens received a No. 10 CCAA ranking.

Game 3

Saturday October 27, 2018 9:30 a.m. Semi Final

Winner of Game 1 vs. SAIT Trojans

SAIT Trojans

Head Coach: John Talerico

2018 Record:  11 wins 54 goals for 3 goals against

ACAC Championships 1

Top Scorers:  Mataya Blakney 13 goals 12 assists, Maddie Lee 10 goals 8 assists, Skye Gordon 6 goals 7 assists

Trojans 54 goals is their team's best ever with the previous best goals output posted last year with 34 net breakers.

Of the perfect 10-0 record, veteran Mataya Blankey said in a media release, "I think we'll celebrate this regular season achievement for the rest of this weekend, but after that, we need to get back to work. Monday, we're going to get focused and work on what we need to improve on in order to do well next weekend."

"There's a few things we are going to continue to tweak going forward, including ball control," said coach Talerico."I know we tend to have possession of the ball a lot, but we can tighten up a little bit."

SAIT Trojans are ranked No. 3 by the CCAA.

Game 4

Saturday October 27, 2018 2 p.m. Semi Final

Winner of Game 2 vs. NAIT Ooks

NAIT Ooks

Head Coach: Carole Holt

2018 Record:  10 wins 59 goals for 3 goals against

ACAC Championships: 8

Top Scorers:  Kaily Mohn 15 goals 9 assists, Yuri Akatsu 10 goals 7 assists, Marissa Webb 10 goals

Ooks had one blowout game which was a 12-0 win against the host Keyano College Huskies on September 9, 2018. Their closest match was a 2-1 verdict over crosstown rival Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder.

Ooks scored 54 goals this season, the third highest in the ACAC history. The record is 75 goals held by the 2014 NAIT Ooks.  The next best season performance was MacEwan Griffiths with 65 goals for in 1998.

Kaily Mohn an ACAC North Team All-Conference last year had 10 goals and seven assists last year compared to 15 goals and 9 assists this season. Seven of her goals came in a weekend series against the Huskies.

Ooks have three international student/athletes, two of which are from Japan with Yumi Ishimura (Kisarazu, Chiba) and Yuri Akatsu (Yokohama, Kanagawa), the other is Tainara de Lima Oliveira from Rio de Janeiro.

CCAA polls show NAIT Ooks at No. 5