It’s becoming a two-horse race to the finish line on the pitch.
The Holy Trinity Academy Knights flexed their offensive might by hitting double digits in two comprehensive road victories while the Foothills Falcons battled through adversity on several fronts to pick up a pair of wins in high school girls soccer action in the Foothills Athletic Council.
“The story this week was weather,” said Falcons coach Christine Victor-Horner. “Tuesday we were in Strathmore and 20 minutes into the game, some rather ominous clouds moved in along with thunder, lightning and a deluge.”
Once the dust settled, the Falcons took a 4-0 scoreline on Sept. 24 over the Strathmore Spartans. Rachel Resler and Kate Kennedy both scored twice in the win.
The weather was a factor two days later, this time on home soil.
The Falcons weathered the storm under chilly conditions and with ice in their veins produced an 8-0 finish over the visiting Canmore Crusaders on Sept. 26.
Lauren Resler picked up her second shutout of the season for Foothills.
“She is another multi-talented player that usually makes her home on the defensive line, but spent some time in the net to help out her team,” Victor-Horner said.
Midfielder Jillian Martens picked up the hat-trick, Hailey Fuzessy and Amanda Mitchell each scored twice and striker Kylie Chubak added the other tally.
Foothills had just one substitute to start the game, but after injury played the duration with no reinforcements on the bench.
“The girls, however, won the game, handily, with their grin-and-bear-it tenacity. Of note is the sportsmanship that Canmore consistently displays,” Victor-Horner said. “Yes, during game play, we all get a little feisty, but we were so impressed with the level of generosity Canmore displayed at the end of the game in shaking hands and checking in on our injured player.”
Foothills, now 3-1 on the season, looks to be on a collision course with its Okotoks rivals entering the final week of the regular season.
The Knights, 4-0 in the Foothills Athletic Council, handed the Crusaders a 10-2 loss in their first meeting of the season on Sept. 24 and blanked the Spartans 11-0 on Sept. 26.
“These games gave our younger and less experienced players the platform to gain confidence and learn to play with the older girls who already know each others games well,” said Knights head coach Peter Mundy. “For me, as the coach I would like to have more close competition, but the girls did well maintaining their game intensity, their positional shape and movement with and without the ball.”
The coach credited the work of the team’s newcomers including eight Grade 10s — Cadence Laplante, Grace Friesen, Anna McKeel, Emma Bailey, Alexa Evis, Kennedy Hubers, Kylie Tiedje and McKenzie Reid — along with Grade 11 transfer Karla Iwamoto.
“She is finding her feet in the team and developing into a strong attacking midfield player,” Mundy said of the latter.
HTA got contributions throughout the lineup in overpowering the Crusaders.
The dynamic duo in attack of Kyleigh van Oirschot and Brielle Masse both scored hat-tricks with midfielders Friesen, Evis and Tristin Tate finding the back of the net.
Tiedje, a pillar of the team’s defensive efforts at centre-back, also notched her first goal of the season in Canmore.
In Strathmore, Masse notched another three-goal effort and van Oirschot completed her brace in style with a header to round out the scoring. Evis added a goal on a terrific strike from 20 yards out and also scored twice as did Friesen while Laplante, and Genevieve Jeeva also scored in the shutout.
The final week of the regular season sees the Knights host Canmore and the Falcons welcome the Spartans on Oct. 1. The Oct. 3 slate sees the Falcons and Knights clash at 4:30 p.m. at Riverside Park.
The top two seeds and three and four seeds battle for silverware in the league playoff on Oct. 8.