TWU women's soccer number one in Canada

Regulation plus two overtimes proved not enough time, but the Spartans were virtually unstoppable in the penalty kick shootout, scoring two of their three shots while unflappable keeper Angela Garriott stopped three of the Martlets' four shots.

McGill's organized attack put pressure on the Spartans from the opening whistle. TWU had the first real scoring chance on a cross from midfielder Katie Smart in to Angela Trauter, who laid it off to Carlee O'Brien whose shot in the box forced Martlet keeper Victoria Villalba to make a great save. But it was McGill who would strike first—and second.

The Martlets' first goal came in the 18th minute from forward Jennifer Scanzano. Her shot eased into the bottom left corner of the net after a scramble in the box that left Garriott out of position.

The Spartans pushed hard following the goal, but could not solve the McGill attack and get the ball forward effectively to form their own attack. McGill took advantage of the continued pressure and struck again two minutes later.

Defender Catherine Scott notched the Martlets' second goal of the night on a free kick at the top of the box that she sent low and hard to the far right side.

Down 2-0 at the half, the Spartans came out in the second determined to chip away at the lead one goal at a time. TWU's Emily Bond struck early, in the 48th minute, off a great pass from defender Erin-Marie Higgins. Higgins lofted a high, arcing pass in behind the McGill defense to a racing Bond who chipped it home over the onrushing keeper.

Re-energized, Trinity Western continued to press for the equalizer, but McGill was not about to sit back on their suddenly reduced lead. The match continued to get more and more physical as both teams left it all on the field in the final game of the season.

With time running out and several close chances not converted, desperation started to set in for the Spartans. And then first-year forward Rachelle Armstrong scored in injury time, doing the seemingly impossible and putting the best two teams in the country in overtime.

Through two overtimes and much nail-biting, the score remained locked at 2-2 as both teams continued to battle.

After 120 minutes of playing time the national championship would be decided by the skills of a possible six players from each team—one goalkeeper and five shooters. In the end, only four were needed from TWU and five from McGill.

Up first for McGill was goalie Victoria Villalba—save Angela Garriott. First up for TWU was Lindsay Rohla—goal, 1-0 TWU. Then it was McGill's Catherine Scott—another save by Garriott. Then TWU's Krysta Kons—save Villalba, still 1-0 TWU. McGill's Morag Mitchell-Carvalho stepped up with the chance bring her team even, but got too much on the ball, sending it wide. TWU's Alexis Heinz was next, and made no mistake—goal, 2-0 TWU. McGill's Eloise Vandal was the final shooter of the night—and Garriott ended the match with one final save.

2-0 in the shootout, 3-2 final score in favor of the Trinity Western University Spartans.

Said an elated TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh afterward, “We're the national champions! I'm so pleased for the girls, so pleased for the program, and so pleased for all the staff and support staff at TWU. Most of all I want to thank the Lord for an unbelievable finish to an unbelievable season.”

Spartans Lindsay Rohla, Angela Trauter, and Ashlee Davison were named Tournament All-Stars. Defender Brittany Heinrich was named Player of the Game.

Match Notes: this marks the first ever national championship in TWU history…for the fourth consecutive season, a Canada West team has won the CIS Championship…

Last Updated: 2015-07-20
Author: Keela Keeping