Chestermere United FC’s U17 girls soccer team made good on their season long goal with a gold medal win at Provincials in Edmonton Aug. 10-12.
“They really played well,” said Head Coach U17 Girls Coach Dave Clarke.
“They were deserving of their victory,” he said.
The girls had to play through extreme weather and game delays to earn their gold at the tournament.
“It was a bit of a mixed bag,” said Clarke of the weather in Edmonton.
On the Friday night, it was 34 degrees Celsius with an air quality index of 10+.
“You can’t play unless it’s six and under,” he said, “so the game went straight to penalty kicks, we didn’t even play.”
They lost that game 5-4 on the penalty kicks.
Fortunately for the team the air quality and temperatures improved on Saturday and they went on to win their next two games, qualifying for the semi-finals.
“The girls played really well in both those games and deserved to win,” said Clarke.
The semi-final match ended up with a weather delay when a thunderstorm rolled in just after half time leading to a roughly one-hour delay in play.
The girls went on to win 2-nil but with the storm delay they ended up having only about an hour and a half before kick-off for the gold medal game.
As the gold medal game approached halftime, one of the opposing players was injured leading to another delay while EMS assessed the player.
When play resumed the Chestermere United girls took control of the game eventually winning it 8-1, securing their first provincial gold medal.
“Once we got three goals up I don’t think the result was ever in doubt, you know, from our perspective it was just about keeping the girls focused until the end of the game,” said Clarke.
As their coach, Clarke said that the girls played some of their best soccer of the whole year at the tournament.
“They…deservedly won it,” he said, “and the final result was a culmination, I think, of all their hard work.”
The win was even better since many of the girls on the team have come close to provincial gold in the past without ever having quite reached it.
“They were delighted with what they’d done and they were over the moon with their achievement,” said Clarke.
He said that the coaching staff were really proud of the team and the effort the girls put in despite the challenging tournament.
“We as a coaching group…we’re immensely proud of the girls,” said Clarke.
“I thought it just showed what a great group of players and a great group of young ladies they really are.
“It’s been a pleasure to have coached them over the last few years,” he said.
For more information on soccer in Chestermere or to register for the upcoming indoor soccer season go to Chestermereunited.com.