Whitehorse’s Jackie Harrison showed why she was named a Canada West All-Star while playing at the CIS Women’s Soccer Championship last week and over the weekend.
The 22-year-old midfielder booted in two important goals to help the University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team capture its second-ever bronze at the championship in Victoria, B.C.
“The team and I obviously had our hearts set on gold but once that wasn’t an option anymore we knew we wanted to come home with something and we are glad that we were able to do that,” said Harrison in an email to the News. “Getting third in the nation is the best many of the players, including myself, have ever done and so we are still very happy with our overall experience at nationals.”
The Vikes won bronze with a 1-0 shootout win over the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday.
In the shootout, the Vikes’ first four shooters, including Harrison, scored to secure the win. Ottawa had their first shot saved and went over the crossbar on their second.
“We had several opportunities to finish the game in regular time including a breakaway, and an open header from a couple of my teammates as well as a bouncing ball in the six-yard box that I failed to put away – all showing how fatigue can affect you in the dire minutes of the game,” said Harrison.
The Vikes found themselves in the bronze game with a 1-0 semifinal loss to the Trinity Western Spartans on Friday.
The Spartans, who went on to win their fourth championship, also defeated the Vikes by a goal in the Canada West conference final on Nov. 4.
“Once Trinity scored their first goal they played very defensively, putting a lot of players behind the ball, making it very difficult for us to get many offensive chances,” said Harrison. “Our team was able to get a couple of chances that could have potentially tied the game, but at the end of the day Trinity was the better team and pushed through to the final.”
UVic reached the semifinal with a 2-1 win over Quebec’s Universite de Sherbrooke on Thursday. Harrison scored her team’s opening with a header on a pass from teammate Nathalie Scharf in the 16th minute.
“(It was a) great goal that gave us a lot of momentum for the remainder of the game,” said Harrison.
The Vikes (13-4-1) won silver in the Canada West conference playoffs, losing 2-1 to the Trinity Western Spartans. The team reached the final with back-to-back shutout wins over Fraser Valley and the University of British Columbia.
Canada West teams need to place in the top two to make the CIS championship. However, the Vikes were guaranteed a berth in the championships as the hosting school.
“This season we were very proud of where we ended,” said Harrison. “It is important to know that even though we had the option of getting into nationals with a bye, due to hosting, we battled in the season and were able to get here completely on our own. We were still such a young team this year compared to many teams at the tournament, including the gold medalists, and now having the experience of playing in nationals under our belt and being another year older next season we truly believe that we are capable of winning a national title.”
Harrison finished the regular season with six goals, including four game-winners that put in a tie for most in the regular season for the Canada West conference.
Harrison is one of seven Yukon athletes that played soccer at the post-secondary level this season.
In addition to playing for the Vikes, Harrison played for the Victoria Highlanders FC in the semi-pro W-League over the summer.
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