All the Collège Ahuntsic Indiennes needed was two first-half goals in its 2-0 shutout victory over the Concordia University College Thunder in the final of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national women’s soccer championship on Saturday.
Midfielders Audrey Lagarde, Ahuntsic captain and player of the game for the gold medal match, and Judith Monarque had the goals on a cold, windy pitch at the Terry Fox Complex in Cornwall.
“It’s a great feeling (to win) in my first championship final,’’ said Lagarde, the CCAA women’s soccer player of the year, adding what her first thought was when she held the championship trophy. “We are first in Canada.’’
Indiennes goalkeeper Josée-Anne Natel-Legault earned the shutout and was named tournament MVP.
Saturday’s win was Ahuntsic’s first CCAA crown. It won a bronze at last year’s tourney.
Earlier in the day, the NAIT Ooks beat Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack 1-0 in the bronze medal match.
The Holland College Hurricanes, national tournament host, finished seventh after a 2-1 win over the Mount Saint Vincent’s Mystics.
Cégep Garneau downed the Humber Hawks 2-1 and finished sixth.
Neither gold medal match team was a favourite to reach the final. Ahuntsic came in as the sixth seed and Concordia the fifth seed.
But the squads knocked off the higher seeds in the semifinals (Ahuntsic beat second ranked NAIT, Concordia downed top-ranked Garneau) to reach the title game.
In that game, Concordia peppered Natel-Legault early in the first half, but couldn't convert. Ahuntsic rode that momentum to its two scores and the eventual title.
“Soccer is a crazy sport. Had we scored early, it’s a different game,’’ said Lindsay Butler, Concordia captain and CCAA all-Canadian. “It was a great experience. Not the way we wanted it to end, but silver is pretty darn good. Maybe next year.’’
Tournament all-stars were Mélissa Roy (Garneau), Leanne Kadatz and Ashley Woodford (NAIT), Kelsey Martin (Thompson Rivers), Stéphie-Ann Dadaille, Audrey Lagarde, Andrée Carty and Josée-Anne Natel-Legault (Ahuntsic), and Sheena Tracey, Audrey Sydora and Erica Vecchio (Concordia).