Both the St. Thomas University men’s and women’s soccer teams made the semi-finals on Oct. 29 at the Grant-Harvey Turf Field.
After improving on last season’s campaign, this season’s women’s team posted a 5-6-1 record. STU lost 3-1 in the semifinals against top seed Mount Saint Vincent Mystics.
The men’s team had a 10-0-2 record during the season, entering as the favourites to take home the championship. They earned a ticket to the finals with a 2-0 victory over the Mystics, where they ended up losing 3-2 to the Holland Hurricanes on penalties.
While the Tommies games may have not gone the way they wanted, the event itself went great for STU and the city of Fredericton.
“We want to create a profile that we’re nationally well known for these quality events,” said Michael Eagles, director of STU Athletics.
“To put on a tournament like we just did, with the type of attendance, detail and effort that it takes to give all of the fans, athletes and coaches the best experience that they can possibly have, it’s a huge benefit to our city.”
With the City of Fredericton behind them, Eagles believes the support that STU has received has been a big part of what has made events, such as hosting the ACAA Championships, a huge success.
Michelle DeCourcey, the head coach of the women’s soccer team at STU, believes that the benefits of hosting an event such as this will also positively impact the future of the both teams.
“This event gave a lot of locals the opportunity to see the calibre of play that STU is capable of. I hope that young players who got to watch games on the weekend were impressed and inspired to play at this level.”
The Grant-Harvey Turf Field was packed during the Tommies games, especially during the men’s finals on Sunday. Eagles believes that was important for the athletes both on and off the field.
“The biggest thing that you want is the fans to create an environment where the players appreciate having been in that type of event,” said Eagles. “The experience the athletes have playing in front of those large crowds in that venue is going to be something that they’re going to remember forever.”
With STU also hosting the ACAA Basketball Championships in March, Eagles said that there is a high likelihood of more and more events being hosted by STU in the future.
“When your department or institution has done a great job hosting past events it helps the bid process,” said Eagles.