The post-season came to an early end for the Chestermere Lakers girls’ soccer team Oct. 15, after an 11-2 loss to the Bert Church Chargers.
Playing in the opening round of the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) playoffs, Chestermere was unable to mount a serious challenge against a well-drilled Chargers side.
“We could have done better,” said head coach Gary Mitschke. “The previous score when we played Bert Church was 3-1, so this time it wasn’t as close of a contest, which we would have liked to see.”
After failing to generate much offence in the first 45 minutes, and going down 5-0, Cynthia McKervy brought a goal back for Chestermere in the second half, and Haleigh Pratt doubled the Lakers’ total with a penalty kick. But six further goals from Bert Church were far too high of a hurdle for the Lakers to force a comeback.
Chestermere ended the regular season with a 1-4-1 record, which put it in sixth place of the seven-team division. The squad’s only win of 2019 came in a 3-2 victory in the season-opener against the George McDougall Mustangs, while the team’s other point was earned in a hard-fought 3-3 draw Sept. 26 against the W.H. Croxford Cavaliers.
“I’ll take those [results] as positives,” Mitschke said. “Some of our [defeats] were close contests that could have gone either way. I saw some improvement with quite a few of the girls who were playing this year, so that was good.”
He added various factors led to a challenging campaign for the team, including two snowfalls midway through the season that postponed league matches.
“It was a difficult season to develop,” he said. “With the weather the way it was, we didn’t have a lot of practice time. And we were a short squad to begin with – we only had 15 girls on the squad, compared to the 20 or so girls most teams were fielding.”
While the Lakers might be pleased to put the 2019 campaign in the rearview mirror, the Springbank Phoenix is still roaring along – as of Oct. 17, Springbank remains the only unbeaten team in the RVSA.
The Phoenix dominated the regular season, winning all five of its matches by a combined score of 46-3, clinching top seed for playoffs by beating the second-place Cochrane Cobras 4-1, in the final game of the regular-season schedule. The result marked the Cobras’ first defeat to a division opponent since 2017.
Due to its first-place finish, the Phoenix enjoyed a bye through to the semi-finals. The team returns to the pitch Oct. 22 for a battle with W.H. Croxford, which qualified for the final four on the back of a 2-1 win Oct. 15 over the Bow Valley Bobcats.
The RVSA championship and bronze-medal matches will be contested Oct. 24 at Monklands Park, in Airdrie. Kick-off for both games is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.