BRONZE MEDAL MATCH: Fanshawe Falcons 2, Douglas Royals 1
In the CCAA bronze medal match, the Fanshawe Falcons and Douglas College Royals fought a hotly contested battle that saw the Falcons just barely come out on top.
The opening half was an excellent exhibition of high-octane, open-field play, with both teams pushing hard to score the opening goal. It took until just five minutes before the end of the half when a beautiful strike from Robyn Scott put the Falcons on top with halftime looming.
In the 52nd minute, the Royals were awarded a free kick, and with Sam Kell's set-piece delivery responsible for a fair number of Douglas goals in the tournament, it seemed their best chance to equalise. The resulting cross was headed home by Alyssa Lum, sending roars throughout Percy Perry Stadium as the hosts drew level.
The game appeared destined for extra time, but in the 84th minute, a Falcons corner found Nicole Nielsen, who headed the ball past Royals keeper Alexa Gazzola to give Fanshawe the lead with just over five minutes in regulation.
Despite six minutes of added time and a huge push from the Royals, the match ended 2-1 and the Falcons won their first CCAA medal since 2009.
Player of the Game honours went to Hannah Dela Cruz of Douglas College, and the Falcons' Scott.
BRONZE MEDAL SEMI-FINAL: Fanshawe Falcons 4, VIU Mariners 2
The Fanshawe Falcons mounted a huge comeback to snatch the final spot in the bronze medal match from the VIU Mariners.
The first half was largely quiet, as the strong defences of both teams prevented chances from materializing, with only a few shots for either side.
Early in the second half, the Mariners took control of the game, dominating both on offence on defence. While the Falcons had been getting several good looks at the VIU goal, nearly every attempt to press forward was snuffed out by the formidable Mariners backline.
The VIU attack was prolific right from the start of the second half, as Shae Battie scored an incredible goal less than a minute into the second period of play. Battie's initial header hit the crossbar, but with both her and the goalkeeper down, Battie showed incredible awareness to get up and calmly execute a beautiful backheel flick to score on the open net. Ten minutes later it was Battie again with a beautiful curling strike from the right edge of the penalty area to double the Mariners' lead.
In the 66th minute, the Falcons began to turn things around, drawing a penalty that was converted by Jade Kovacevic to cut the lead in half. Less than five minutes later, the game was tied as a beautiful team goal was finished by none other than Kovacevic, the 2018 CCAA Women's Soccer Player of the Year. The Falcons pressed for the go-ahead goal, and they got it, as Kayla McQueen finished off a beautiful series of passes to give the Falcons their first lead of the game.
With less than 10 minutes to play, the Mariners threw everything they had at Fanshawe, but with less defensive presence, the Falcons countered and Chelsea Zavitz put the game out of reach for VIU.
4imprint players of the match were VIU's Shae Battie and McQueen of Fanshawe.
GOLD MEDAL SEMI-FINAL: Élans de Garneau 2, Fanshawe Falcons 1
Vying for the last spot in the 2018 CCAA Women's Soccer National Championship final, les Élans de Garneau and the Fanshawe Falcons left everything they had out on the pitch, and it was the Quebec school who came out on top.
Garneau scored less than four minutes into the match, as Ève Malo got on the end of a corner to get les Élans on the board first. The Falcons responded with some positive attacking play, but were unable to find a way through the formidable Garneau backline, even with 30-goal scorer Jade Kovacevic leading the charge forward.
In the 23rd minute, les Élans doubled their lead, as Frédérique Métivier stole the ball from the Falcons and played an excellent pass into the path of Audrey Genois, who rounded the keeper and calmly rolled the ball into the empty goal.
After the Genois goal, the Falcons pressed even harder, and a glorious Kovacevic chance was robbed by Garneau keeper Anne-Marie Laroche.
Fanshawe would eventually get on the board in the second half as Kovacevic made a great run down the right wing and crossed to Nicole Nielsen, who cut the Garneau lead in half. But despite numerous opportunities from both open play and dead ball situations, the Falcons were unable to add a second goal, and les Élans held on to win 2-1 and once again secure their place in the national championship final.
4imprint Players of the Game were Alexandra Doucet for Garneau and Selena Roberts of Fanshawe.
GOLD MEDAL QUARTER-FINAL: Fanshawe Falcons 6, SAIT Trojans 0
The Fanshawe Falcons were impressive in their quarter-final matchup with the SAIT Trojans, scoring six times while keeping a clean sheet.
Five of the six goals came from 2018 CCAA Player of the Year Jade Kovacevic, who was unstoppable in the 18-yard box for Fanshawe. Kovacevic was the CCAA's top scorer in 2018 with 30 regular season goals, and showed off her scoring prowess in this match.
Fanshawe's sixth goal was scored by Stephanie Middlemiss, who nabbed her first of the season off of a set-piece as the match neared its conclusion.
The Falcons could have had even more, but Trojans goalkeeper Amy Offredi had an excellent afternoon, with all of the Falcons goals a result of the quality play of the opposition rather than any mistakes on Offredi's part. The defence was solid too, but Kovacevic's elite offensive skill was just too much to handle for the ACAC silver medallists.
The Trojans played quite well on offence, generating several quality chances, but just couldn't keep up with the offensive firepower of the Falcons.
The Players of the Game were Kovacevic for the Falcons, and Maddie Lee of the Trojans.
Source: Douglas Royals