Whitehorse’s Jackie Harrison finished her university soccer career with a win on Saturday, but it wasn’t the win she was hoping for.
Harrison and her University of Victoria Vikes team wanted to play at the CIS national championships, but a loss on Friday took them out of contention.
The Vikes lost 2-1 in double overtime to the Trinity Western University Spartans on Friday in Victoria. A win for the Vikes would have put the team in the Canada West final and provided them a berth to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships in Toronto.
“The end of the season was definitely a heartbreaker. It would have been awesome to be able to attend nationals in my final season but the game against TWU was a hard fought battle and my team played very well this past weekend,” said Harrison in an email to the News. “We simply did not end with the result we wanted, but we put our hearts on the line and that’s all we can ask of ourselves.”
With Friday’s loss, which was only the team’s third of the season, the Vikes played the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds for the Canada West bronze on Saturday and won 3-1.
Harrison, who is a team captain and plays midfield, logged a goal in what was her final match as a university player.
“In the regular season we did beat TWU and lost to UBC and then vice versa in the playoffs. However, all four games were one-goal differentials and so really there wasn’t much different between the games,” said Harrison. “The top four teams in Canada West could all have been contenders for the national title this year. That’s what makes Canada West such a tough division to play in, as it is sometimes more difficult to make it to nationals than competing at nationals themselves. However, there are some strong teams in the east as well that always complete for the title so it will be interesting to see how this year plays out.”
The Vikes began the Canada West playoffs with a 5-1 win over the University of Regina Cougars on Oct. 25. Harrison scored two goals, including the game-winner on a penalty kick, in the match.
Harrison led her team in goals on the season, scoring a total of eight, including the one Saturday.
“Saturday’s match was my final university game. It was a bitter-sweet feeling as I am going to miss my team and this part of my life very much. However, I am looking forward to new things to come and I’m sure soccer will remain an important part of my life,” said Harrison, who was a fifth-year player.
“Overall my fondest memories are obviously successful wins in my career and growing as a player, but more importantly it is all the things that happen behind the scenes such as the team chemistry and fun we have both on and off the pitch.”
Last season the Vikes took second in the Canada West conference playoffs to reach the CIS nationals and placed third in Canada. Harrison was named a Canada West All-Star last season.
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