Yukon men’s soccer team makes history at Canada Summer Games

Team Yukon’s men’s soccer team celebrate their first history-making win of the tournament. (Dale Cogswell/Canada Summer Games)Team Yukon’s men’s soccer team celebrate their first history-making win of the tournament. (Dale Cogswell/Canada Summer Games)
Yukon puts on the heat in a match against Alberta. (Sarah Lewis/Canada Summer Games)Yukon puts on the heat in a match against Alberta. (Sarah Lewis/Canada Summer Games)
Players and coaches watch intently from the sidelines as Yukon captures possession of the ball. (Sarah Lewis/Canada Summer Games)Players and coaches watch intently from the sidelines as Yukon captures possession of the ball. (Sarah Lewis/Canada Summer Games)
Week two athletes arrive at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Aug. 14. (Courtesy/Facebook)Week two athletes arrive at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Aug. 14. (Courtesy/Facebook)

Aug. 12 marked the final day of competition for Team Yukon athletes in week one of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.

Soccer

Team Yukon’s men’s soccer team made history for a second time at these Games, defeating Manitoba 3-0 in the seventh/eighth place game on Friday.

Bennett Kischuk scored two goals and Rio Crystal scored one.

The team also beat Nova Scotia in their first game of the tournament, making them the first soccer team from the Yukon to defeat a province in men’s soccer.

In between their two wins, they lost to British Columbia 1-0 and Alberta 2-0.

This seventh place finish is the best a male soccer team from the Yukon has ever done at a Canada Summer Games, according to the team’s manager, Cindi Cowie.

Cowie has directed and managed the Haines Junction Football Club for over 10 years. She’s known some of the boys on the Canada Summer Games team for just as long.

“Managing the team was an honour and I found being a part of Team Yukon an eye opener,” Cowie said in an email.

“I’ve come from a grassroots soccer program so being in a multi-sport event with tremendous athletes broadened my viewpoint of what was possible for youth. I loved watching the boys play football with confidence, competitively and with pride of representing the Yukon.”

Some of the players have played football together since they were eight, according to Cowie.

Her son, Callum Weir, played goalkeeper at the Games.

“I enjoyed seeing him play soccer with his old teammates again,” she said.

Basketball

On Aug. 12 at the Meridian Centre, the men’s basketball team took the lead against Nunavut in the third quarter of the 11th/12th place game.

They maintained this lead until the end, beating their territorial rival 87-78 to claim 11th place at the Games.

The women’s basketball team also played Nunavut in their final game but lost 65-45.

Beach Volleyball

Paige Poelman and Caelon Workman were the first women’s beach volleyball team to represent the Yukon at a Canada Summer Games, a press release stated.

They picked up their first win of the Games during their final match against Nunavut, earning an 11th place finish.

The men’s beach volleyball team lost their final game to Newfoundland and finished 12th.

Swimming

Team Yukon’s Thomas Gishler finished the 3,000-metre open water swim with a time of 36:29, placing 13th overall.

Reese Jackson finished the race in 40:25 and placed 18th.

Cycling

Jonah McConnell and the Roldan sisters all progressed past the qualifying rounds of mountain bike sprints on a modified 1.5-km course.

McConnell and Mathilde Roldan were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Mara Roldan came in second place in her quarterfinal heat with a time of 3:51.29. This earned her a spot in the semifinals, but her bike’s chain link failed off the top of the race and she did not start (DNS).

She walked away with a 12th place finish.

Week two

Team Yukon’s week two squad arrived at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games on Aug. 14.

Aug. 14 and 15 were turnaround days, allowing for week one athletes to return home and week two athletes to arrive and train in Niagara, Ont.

The Games resumed on Aug. 16 and will culminate on Aug. 21.

Week two will see Team Yukon athletes competing in athletics, canoe kayak, volleyball, road cycling, golf and women’s soccer.

Contact Magan Carty at magan.carty@yukon-news.com