Women’s soccer returns from nationals

The Tommies’ women’s soccer team has returned from its time at nationals without a trophy but a strong sense of pride in its accomplishments on the field.

The team and coaching staff expressed how thrilled they were to be going to Halifax for the tournament before they left.

Like the seven other teams going into the tournament, the Tommies had their sights set on the national title, and went into it with an open mind.

The Tommies’ first game of nationals was on Nov. 8, where they took on the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves. The first half ended with the Wolves having a one-goal lead over the Tommies. The second half didn’t go as well as the Tommies hoped either. The Wolves managed to capitalize and run the score up to 5-0 within a span of 10 minutes, making that the final score of the game.

The women’s soccer team was proud to make it to nationals. (Submitted)

“Our game plan going into the tournament was to stay united and defend as a team,” said STU head coach Michelle Decourcey.

“The first game started out well, but the team struggled with consistency and our opponent capitalized on this.”

“Those teams don’t get tired and as soon as you make a mistake that’s theirs to capitalize off of and that’s exactly what they did,” said Tommies goalkeeper Mary Cronin.

The following day, the Tommies played Algonquin College. Again in the first half, the opponent kept the score at 1-0. Even though the Tommie’s suffered another loss, Cronin said it was a solid game.

The Tommies played their final game on the Nov. 12 against Dalhousie Agricultural College, who they had faced several times in regular season and were eager to beat.

STU pulled out a big win over Dal AC with a score of 1-0. Sarah Hickman was able to score the Tommies’ only goal.

The Tommies fought hard in the three games they played while they were at nationals. (Submitted)

When asked if there was anything the team changed playing wise, Cronin said, “We matched up with the teams well. We shifted our whole game plan, we changed the way we played to play defensively. It worked really well, if you look at the first half of our first game and first half of our second game.”

The Tommies’ coaching staff reached out to all the STU women’s soccer alumni and made a video compilation of past Tommies wishing them luck before the tournament.

“All of them basically said, ‘Go on the field and give it 110 per cent because you’re never going to get this opportunity again,’” said Cronin.

This is the first time since 1999 that the St. Thomas University women’s soccer team has made it to nationals. (Submitted)

During the tournament, Decourcey told The Aquinian, “We reminded them that these were just soccer games, just as they had been all season and that they had everything they needed in order to play their best.”

Even though the Tommies didn’t take home the national title they had hoped for, both Cronin and Decourcey expressed how happy they were with how the team did.

“I was happy with our results,” said Cronin. “It was really fun to play at that level for sure.”

Decourcey said, “I was very proud of the team. The work they put in over the course of the season was evident in their strong performance at nationals.”

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