Alberta might be Canada’s largest source of oil, but for the Yukon’s U-18 girls soccer team it was a source of gold and silver.
Over the last two weekends, with a training camp in between, the team that will be representing the Yukon at this month’s Canada Summer Games won two medals in two tournaments.
“The whole idea with the trip was to go down and learn how to get ready for games and compete in games,” said head coach John MacPhail. “We don’t get a whole lot of games locally, so it was a great exercise. The girls figured out what’s good warm-ups and how to prepare themselves for competitions.”
Most recently the girls went 3-0 to take gold in the Sherwood Park District Association Challenge Cup in Sherwood Park over the weekend. The Yukon squad actually began the tournament with their closest game, overcoming a 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 against Camrose, BC.
“With about 15 minutes left, we had to push some extra players up front,” said MacPhail.
Getting the tying goal was Katie Lowey, scoring on a free kick from 30 yards out. Putting in the game-winner was Terri Publicover, scoring on a tight-angle shot from 10 yards out.
“She normally plays mid-field but we asked her to play striker for the last 10 minutes of the game,” said MacPhail.
Yukon then produced a 5-0 shutout in the semifinals against Quesnel, BC, before defeating Southwesting, BC, 4-1 in the finals.
The previous weekend the team took second in Calgary minor soccer’s 34th annual Girls Soccer Tournament, losing 2-1 in the finals against the Calgary Blizzard. Earlier in the tournament the Yukon girls tied the Blizzard 2-2.
Despite their success in both tournaments, MacPhail knows that his team should avoid getting overly confident going into the Canada Summer Games.
“We’ll hit reality at the Summer Games because we have Ontario and Saskatchewan in our pool,” said MacPhail. “So they will be very tough games.”
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