CANMORE – The Holy Trinity Knights are the bane of the Canmore Wolverines.
The girls high school soccer team from Okotoks is responsible for the local squad's only two losses in the short calendar year. Then in the biggest game of the season, the mini-league's championship, the Knights did it again and outpointed the Wolverines 4-0 to win gold in Okotoks Wednesday (Oct. 13).
"While we hoped for an upset, it was kind of a David versus Goliath-type match," said Wolverines coach Alaric Fish.
Being outscored 13-1 over three games, the underdog Wolverines still might have one more shot at redemption against their pesky rival next week.
The Canmore squad took silver in the league with a 3-2-1 record to advance to zones next Friday and Saturday (Oct. 22-23) in Okotoks.
But despite lopsided losses on the scoreboard against the golden Knights, the Wolverines felt like it didn't reflect their fight in the match ups.
"We play up to a higher level once we play against them," said Emma Hendry, a Grade 12 centre-back.
"There are going to be strong teams going into zones, but like I said, when we're against the challenging teams we always play up a bit. It's definitely a bit scary, but as a team we're going to improve overall ... it'll be a good experience and we'll play our best."
In the gold medal game on Oct. 13, the Wolverines defensive-minded game plan was working in the first half, which closed out at nil-nil. Wolverines defender Sophia Riep effectively shut down opposing strikers and keeper Aili Mamalis played big in net.
"I think [the Knights] were a little bit surprised it was tied at halftime," said Fish. "They [the Knights] settled down, worked on their incredible ball control and passing, so we were not able to interrupt their passing game. It was really strong."
However, the sleeping giant woke up in the second half.
The Wolverines switched to a defensive strategy against Holy Trinity after playing an attack heavy formation with four players up front for most of the season.
The Knights were stifled in the first half, but found their rhythm in the second and put in four unanswered goals.
"Most of our games against this team are pretty defensive," said Hendry. "We had a few good breakaways and shots on net, but it's mainly us playing defensively. In the second half, they got one or two goals in on us and it kind of slowed down our momentum of trying to get us on their end and have more shots on net.
"It's been a while since the school team has played for gold and silver so it was fun to be in that game over the bronze and fourth place game."
A schedule for zones is still being finalized.