When Chantal McFetridge committed to Queens University in 2009, she had a hunch there would be some good times ahead.
Little did the Kelowna soccer product know at the time, her future at the Kingston, Ont. school would include not one, but two national championships.
Last weekend in Montreal, McFetridge and the Golden Gaels successfully defended the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s soccer title with a victory in penalty kicks over the University of Montreal.
“I guess if you told me back then I would have won two national titles here, I would have been super surprised,” said McFetridge, 20. “I’m so grateful for my experience at Queens. When I first came here on a recruiting trip, I knew this is where I wanted to be. I met the coach and was 100 per cent sure. It’s amazing how it’s worked out, I have no regrets.”
An attacking midfielder, McFetridge was a key figure for the Golden Gaels in their run to the 2011 national finale.
In the semifinal match on Saturday against the University of Ottawa, the Okanagan Mission Secondary grad found herself in the spotlight with the game on the line.
After a scoreless regulation and overtime, the Gaels and Ottawa went to penalty kicks.
With the score tied 2-2 in the shootout, McFetridge drove home the winning goal.
“The girl before me had scored, so if I could score then it would be over,” said McFetridge. “I knew there was a ton of pressure, but I had been in those situations before. I was surprisingly calm, I picked my spot and put it in, and we were off to the final. It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in soccer.”
In addition to scoring some clutch goals, Queens head coach Dave McDowell said McFertridge has continued to grow into a well-rounded player in her three years with the Golden Gaels, her best season yet coming in 2011.
“She was fanatastic for us,” said McDowell. “She has improved in many areas over last year, her ability to both keep and distribute the ball is very good…she was such a huge part of our success. Chantal made it hard for us to take her off the field.”
Still, McFetridge is modest about her own accomplishments, instead choosing to heap praise on her teammates and the Queens soccer program in general.
“I’m just so proud of my teammates and everyone who worked so hard to make it happen,” she said. “It’s really a combination of things that makes this team successful. There’s been some really good recruiting and a lot of us have come up together, building and getting better each year. I guess you could say we’ve found the winning formula.”
Off the pitch, McFetridge is also enjoying her education at Queens as she continues to works towards her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Kinesiology.
Her educational pursuits could lead her to Central America this summer where she has plans to work as a medical volunteer.
If that doesn’t work out, McFetridge expects to return to Kelowna for the summer and play for the Pacific Coast Soccer League’s Okanagan FC.