Sports

Back-to-back B.C. gold for Mustangs

The B.C. girls A soccer champion Immaculata Mustangs are:  (Back, l to r) coach Todd Penkala, Grace Miller, Mara Routley, Ashlyn Day, Claire Selwood, Hayley Slade, Jaedyn Penkala, Emily Haber, Hannah Johnson, Lindsay Lalach, Kat Routley, Stephanie McCann, coach Paul Freire, (front) Morgan Painchaud, Kiera Freire, Kate Johnson, Erin Graham, Emma Johnson, Ashley Prehofer, Celina Matte and Hannah Slade. - Contributed
The B.C. girls A soccer champion Immaculata Mustangs are: (Back, l to r) coach Todd Penkala, Grace Miller, Mara Routley, Ashlyn Day, Claire Selwood, Hayley Slade, Jaedyn Penkala, Emily Haber, Hannah Johnson, Lindsay Lalach, Kat Routley, Stephanie McCann, coach Paul Freire, (front) Morgan Painchaud, Kiera Freire, Kate Johnson, Erin Graham, Emma Johnson, Ashley Prehofer, Celina Matte and Hannah Slade.
— image credit: Contributed

It looks like there might be a high school soccer dynasty in the making at Immaculata Regional High School.

The 2014 edition of the Mustangs captured their second straight B.C. A girls' soccer title last weekend in Vancouver, defeating Glenlyon-Norfolk in the final.

Immaculata now has five provincial titles to its credit since the program was launched nine seasons ago.

After rolling through the round robin with wins over Ft. St. James, North Island, and Nakusp, the Mustangs blanked West Point Grey Academy 3-0 in the semifinal.

Ashlyn Day and Emma Johnson tallied within the first 10 minutes of the game, with  Jaedyn Penkala connecting on a late goal to round out  the scoring.

In the final, the Mustangs were pitted against their longtime rivals, Glenlyon-Norfolk.

Each team had won the B.C. title four previous times.

The game started with a flurry from the Mustangs, having wave after wave of attack stifled by the Gryphons.  First, a Stephanie McCann deflection was cleared off the goal line.  Next, a Lindsay Lalach header just missed high.  Finally, the Gryphons were able to clear a goal mouth scramble.

The Gryphons, meanwhile, looked very dangerous on the counter-attack, testing the Mustangs defense at every opportunity.  Hannah Johnson, Stephanie McCann, Hayley Slade and Ashley Prehofer stood tall on the Mustangs back line, and kept the score 0-0 at the half.  In the second half the Mustangs settled into the game and controlled the play. Jaedyn Penkala and Erin Graham provided the engine for the Mustangs, but they couldn’t solve the back line of the Gryphons. Finally, with less than 10 minutes to go, a low shot from Emma Johnson found the bottom corner of the net to give the Mustangs the lead.

The back line would hold off wave after wave of attack to preserve the lead, as the Mustangs posted a 1-0 for their second straight provincial championship.

"The girls were awesome at provincials," said Mustangs coach Paul Freire. "All 18 players pulled together every step of the way. They showed tremendous team spirit, and supported each other through difficult situations.  I honestly cannot pick out one player that stood out because each one of them played their hearts out and raised their game to the occasion. They were fantastic.

Emma Johnson was named as the tournament’s golden boot winner scoring nine goals, while Erin Graham was awarded the Tournament MVP.

 

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