Team British Columbia vs. Team Manitoba
Final Score: 3-0 BC
It was a great end to the 2017 Canada Summer Games for BC’s female soccer team. Playing against the host Manitoba squad, BC turned in a stellar effort winning 3-0 to finish in fifth place.
BC lived up to their potential Thursday afternoon by showcasing their skills for the majority of the match. However, things could have played out differently if not for a tremendous stop from birthday girl Anna Stephenson (Vancouver) in the 18th minute. The BC keeper dove across the net to push a ball wide when Manitoba jumped on a ball well inside the 18-yard box.
“I think BC’s fought so long, it was my way of showing we still wanted it,” said Stephenson when asked about the save. “I was putting my heart in, giving it everything I had.”
The stop must have energized BC as they took a 1-0 lead just six minutes later on a goal by Danielle Steer (White Rock), set-up by star midfielder Julia Grosso (Vancouver). The west coasters continued to press nearly doubling their advantage in the 39th minute when Grosso carved through the Manitoba defense, but the keeper just was able to keep the ball out. Fortunately, Teagan Mackay (North Vancouver) stepped up soon after with her fourth goal of the tournament to take a 2-0 advantage into halftime.
The second half was much of the same as BC ensured there would be no comeback in the afternoon. Seven minutes in, Madeline Moore (Port Moody) nearly finished off a Grosso corner with a flying header, but Manitoba managed to clear the ball off the line seconds before it crossed into the net. A few moments later, the dynamic duo of Grosso and Mackay connected yet again when Mackay flicked a ball past the Manitoba keeper to extend the lead to three. Team BC flagbearer Emma Regan (Burnaby) almost got in on the action at the 67-minute mark striking a beautiful free kick off the crossbar from the corner of the box. The home side was unable to mount any significant challenge in the final ten minutes giving BC the three-goal win.
In their final two matches of the tournament, BC outscored their opposition 9-0 making an important statement on the squad’s ability. “We played together as a team, we came together.” said Stephenson. “We showed off our individual skill and team skill.”
Even though they were unable to successfully defend Gold from the 2013 Canada Summer Games, the players and staff had a fantastic experience in Winnipeg, and look to carry much of what they learned forward in their future sporting endeavors. When asked how it felt to play so well on her 18th birthday, Stephenson responded, “turning 18 in Winnipeg, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Danielle Steer, #11 (24’)
Teagan Mackay, #7 (40’)
Teagan Mackay, #7 (49’)
(CS) Anna Stephenson, #18