CANMORE – The Holy Trinity Knights were not ready for the 2022 Canmore Wolverines soccer girls.
In a game where someone’s 0 had got to go, the undefeated Wolverines (3-0) notched their most brilliant victory in years – a 6-2 thumping over their biggest rivals – but payback against the team that none of the local Grade 12s have beaten until Tuesday (Sept. 27) would taste even sweeter at zones.
“It was kind of a known thing when we got on the team in Grade 9 that [Holy Trinity] was the team to beat,” said Wolverine Sarah Feherty.
“It’s kind of sad all the older girls aren’t with us [today]."
Confidence is high around the unbeaten Wolverines squad that they’ll be one of two teams in their league attending zones in October. And the hope is the Knights from Okotoks are the other.
Canmore hasn't beaten the Knights since at least 2016, but after handing them a big fat L this week at Millennium Field in Canmore, the girls' sense times are changing in the Alberta high school girls' soccer scene.
"I think in the next few years, Canmore is going to become the team to beat," said Feherty. “Last year we lost to them in our zones, so they were zone champions, so hopefully if there is a zone tournament, we can get them back. Our big goal is to win zones this year.”
The Wolverines weren't messing around and pounced early to a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes. Both goals were netted by striker Airi Watai, whose skilled play and sharp speed were causing all sorts of havoc for the defenders over 90 minutes.
The Knights cut down the lead to one at the end of the first, but Canmore put Holy Trinity back on the ropes with another pair of quick goals out of the gates courtesy of Sarah Wilson and Jewell Weighell, who held off two swarming defenders to boot one into the back of the net.
Despite Holy Trinity slashing the lead in half again, the rival squad's high was brought down to the earth just moments later as Watai dribbled around a Knights defender and fed a waiting and ready Mary Huggill at the top of the penalty area. With a mighty kick, the Wolverines opened up their biggest lead at 5-2.
Wolverines goalkeeper Jaime Lakusta came up big down the stretch, stopping multiple shots during critical moments for her team.
Canmore’s Nova Borggard added one more goal and gave the Knights something to think about on the long bus ride back home.
Canmore out-worked their longtime foes Tuesday, getting to loose balls first, collapsing their defence on would-be scorers, and controlling the action. The local team, made up of mostly Grade 9s and 12s, played much more comfortably and it showed. They’ve grown on-field and off-field chemistry through school and club teams.
“Our club team (Canmore FC U17 girls), we’ve been playing with younger kids for a while, so I think our team’s stronger at working together and supporting each other,” said Wilson after the game. “We work very well together and we have a lot of skilled players.”
Wolverine Ella Weighell added: “We’ve known each other forever and it’s such a community and positive vibes no matter what and it’s nice playing together.”
The girls’ next home game is next Thursday (Oct. 6) at 4:30 p.m. against Strathmore.
Canmore is scheduled for a league playoff game on Oct. 12; however, a location and time are yet to be determined.