Yukon’s first soccer goal of this week’s Canada Summer Games turned out to be a history maker.
With the goal, Yukon took a 1-0 win over rival territory N.W.T. in female soccer Aug. 1 in Winnipeg. It’s Yukon’s first win in female soccer at the Canada Games since beating N.W.T. in 2005.
Yukon will now play Team Newfoundland and Labrador in the ninth/10th place match on Wednesday.
Win or lose, it will the Yukon’s highest ever finish in soccer — male or female — at the Games. It’ll also mark the first time Yukon finishes ahead of a province with the team guaranteed to place better than New Brunswick.
“I think we’re all pretty excited,” said Yukon co-captain Malorie Hanson. “It was great to have a win — and score a goal. It’s exciting to play our game a little more too and play offensively, so I think everybody is pretty pumped.
“I definitely think we’re improving with experience, getting a little better every game, getting our feet under us.”
Yukon scored the game-winning goal in the 38th minute on a corner kick. Hanson, who plays attacking midfielder, took the kick that went off an N.W.T. player and in.
Goalkeeper Jayden Demchuk was in net for the shutout and left fullback Alice Frost-Hanberg was named Yukon’s Player of the Game for an “outstanding performance.”
“We controlled big parts of the game and had a lot more success in our attack because we were able to generate a large percentage of possession,” said Yukon head coach Jake Hanson. “We were starting to create chances but were still hoping to create more and get to goal a little bit better than we did today. But we did get the goal we needed to go through, so everybody was happy about that.”
Yukon opened the Games with a 9-0 loss to Quebec on Saturday and a 6-0 loss to Saskatchewan on Sunday.
Newfoundland lost 1-0 to B.C. and tied Alberta 1-1 before beating New Brunswick 3-0 in their match on Tuesday.
“They’ve been doing really well lately, so we’ll do our best and, I don’t know if we’ll come out with a win, but we’ll definitely play as hard as we possibly can,” said Malorie Hanson. “It’ll be our last game so we’ll try to leave it all on the field.”
Yukon’s female team went winless in 2013, a Games in which N.W.T. didn’t field a female team. The 2009 Yukon team lost their final match to N.W.T. to place last (12th).
The match against Newfoundland will take place today at 1:30 p.m. Yukon time and can be streamed through the Canada Games website.
“I am over the moon,” said Yukon co-captain and centre back Jamie Joe-Hudson. “This is such an amazing opportunity. It’s going to be a historical game, so win or lose we’ll play our hearts out and no matter the result it’s going to be a great game.”
The male soccer competition will take place in week two of the Games.
With three losses each, Yukon’s two basketball teams have been dispatched to the placement rounds.
So far Yukon’s male team has lost 107-45 to Saskatchewan, 122-45 to New Brunswick and then 131-41 to Quebec on Monday in the Round of 16. They will play P.E.I Wednesday morning to start the placement round.
Yukon’s Ryan Hindson has led his team in scoring in all three games, averaging 21 points per game so far this week.
Yukon’s female team has lost 98-14 to Nova Scotia, 126-2 to Alberta, and then 67-23 to New Brunswick in the round of 16, for their closest and highest-scoring game thus far. Emily Johnson and Jetta Bilskay put six points each on the board against New Brunswick — Johnson with a pair of three-pointers — and Sheridan Curteanu logged five points.
Whitehorse’s Kieran Halliday has posted the high water mark so far in the athletics competition. Halliday placed ninth in the 3,000-metre steeplechase on Tuesday with a time of 9:41.33. Four years ago he became the first Yukoner to compete in the event, placing 12th, and has competed in steeplechase for University of British Columbia as well.
“It’s outstanding in his placement and stuff — it’s not a PB (personal best),” said Yukon athletics coach Don White. “He had issues with it and we told him to buck up and realize he passed a number of people at the end of the race. He did really well.”
Yukon’s Dominic Korn qualified for the B final of the 200-metre, placing fifth in his heat at 22.58 seconds. The final will take place on Friday.
Dawson City’s Jack Amos, who was flag-bearer for Team Yukon at the opening ceremonies, placed 10th in his heat for the 1,500-metre on Monday with a personal best time of 4:08.76, but did not qualify for Thursday’s final.
Alysha Gullison became the first-ever Yukoner to compete in hammer throw at the Canada Games on Monday. She placed eighth in her pool with a throw of 27.01 metres and will not advance to the final.
An upcoming highlight: Kate Londero will become the first Yukoner ever to compete in the heptathlon at the Canada Games on Thursday. No athletics events are scheduled for Wednesday.
It’s do or die time for Yukon’s beach volleyball team. Max Clarke and Benjamin Grundmanis, the first-ever Yukoners to compete on the sand at Canada Games, have suffered five straight losses and will face P.E.I. on Wednesday. The losing team will be eliminated and the winning team will play New Brunswick later in the day for a shot to play in the seventh/eighth place game.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com