The St. Thomas University Tommies needed to give it their all to take down the league-leading Mount Saint Vincent University’s Mystics, but in the end, it wasn’t enough. Danielle Young of the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics scored a hat trick to lead the Mystics over the host Tommies in Saturday’s women’s soccer semi-final at BMO field.
STU head coach Alex Valerio didn’t feel the season-ending loss was due to a lack of effort.
“We were quite evenly matched, but we didn’t come out playing well, to be honest,” she said. “We were a bit nervous, and it showed. I told them at halftime to find their feet and make passes. Get to the ball first and things will turn around.”
Young got the Mystics on the board 21 minutes in and gave Mount Saint Vincent a 2-0 lead almost 15 minutes later.
Third-year Tommie Logan Kennedy hoped their underdog status would help them as they battled the Mystics.
“The way we saw it was that they had all of the pressure on them to win,” said Kennedy. “They had everything to lose and we had nothing.”
STU’s Elaine Gillis cut the Mystics’ lead in half after 58 minutes, which Valerio hoped would give the Tommies some momentum.
“I thought it might be a turning point for us and that we could tie and win it, but Mount Saint Vincent scored late to make it three to one,” said Valerio. “We didn’t lose steam, but it’s different at three to one.”
That final goal was scored by Young with the game winding down. Valerio attributed the Mystics’ first two goals to defensive errors.
“We made mistakes in the defensive third, and when we were in possession, we also made mistakes,” she said. “Then, all of a sudden, the ball was in the back of our net.”
The Mystics finished first in the ACAA with 10 wins, one loss and a tie, while STU won four games, lost six and tied two for fourth place. At Saturday’s game, the Mystics top scorer, Jessica Partridge, had 27 goals while Elaine Gillis led the Tommies with just four. The Mystics went on to win the ACAA soccer championship.
“The girls battled hard, and I’m proud of them,” Valerio said, as Saturday’s game marked the end of her first season as STU’s head coach. “I don’t think it was a three to one game, but the scoreboard says what it says.”
Despite the loss, Kennedy thinks that overall, it was a good season.
“We may not have got all the results we hoped for, but we played with heart every game,” said Kennedy. “We have a lot of the girls coming back, and we have adapted to (Valerio’s) coaching style, so we hope to be more of a threat next season.”
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