Ardens clinch fourth straight Moose Jaw League title
After nine league games where everything seemed to come easy, nothing came easy for the Swift Current Comp. Ardens in the championship final against Weyburn on Tuesday in Moose Jaw.
The Ardens faced some serious adversity when they fell behind 2-0 after 12 minutes before Cassidy Andres responded with four straight goals to lead the Ardens to a 4-3 win and their fourth consecutive Moose Jaw High School Soccer League title.
Andres scored in the 25th minute to cut the lead to 2-1 at halftime. The Ardens’ reign over the Moose Jaw League appeared perilous early in the second half when Weyburn was awarded a questionable penalty kick but sniper Sabrina Mainil missed the goal and a chance for a second two-goal lead.
Andres and the Ardens would make Weyburn pay for their mistake when she scored three second-half goals before Weyburn responded with a third goal to ensure a nervous conclusion to the game.
Emilie Erlandson, Cassandra Furey-Cameron, Kelsey Therrien, and Santana Gowan all had assists, while Britney Cleaveley earned the win in goal.
The dramatic win clinched a fourth straight unbeaten season as grade 12’s Cassidy Andres, Emilie Erlandson, and Kaylee Kyle all made league history by finishing unbeaten in 45 games during their fouryear careers.
“It felt good since we came back from losing,” said Kyle. “It was kind of scary but it felt good to finally win four years in row while I was on the team.”
“It feels great because I don’t think that anybody has done it,” added Andres. “It makes me feel like us three girls are really strong because when we came in most of us were in the starting line-up. I think we played hard all four years so I think that we deserved to win every single game and tie one.”
“We just stayed strong as a team and worked together,” said Erlandson of their incredible four-year run. “We have grown up together and we know how each other plays. So just staying together as a team helped us win.”
The Ardens added another medal to their collection Saturday when they won the SHSAA 3A South Regional Championship.
The host Ardens defeated the Weyburn Eagles 1-0 to win Regionals for a third straight time over their southern rivals.
The Ardens led most of the way after Kelsey Therrien’s corner kick was knocked into the Weyburn goal by their goalkeeper in the ninth minute. The Ardens did not allow a shot on goal but were unable to capitalize at the other end against the rival Eagles.
Cassandra FureyCameron picked up the win during a quite afternoon in the Ardens’ goal.
“I think we worked mostly on our passing which was really nice,” explained Andres. “We just tried to work around them because it was way too windy to throw balls in the air and do all those things. I think we worked well as a team, just passing the ball around, trying to get balls forward. Even though we didn’t score lots of goals it was nice to have that one to keep us in the lead the whole time.”
“We played better than we usually do and our passing was a lot better,” added Erlandson.
The Ardens will be in Weyburn Friday and Saturday for the eight-team Provincial Finals.
The Ardens are hoping to improve on a fourthplace finish last year when they upset Regina Riffel before losing their last two games.
Kyle said that the team’s passing, anticipation, and getting first to the ball would be the areas of emphasis when they met up with some of the province’s traditional powerhouse schools at Provincials.
“We have to pass the ball well and not get down on each other when the going gets tough because Provincials are really hard,” added Andres.
Ardens midfielder Kaylee Kyle (right) helped her team to a third straight South Regional title on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Weyburn.
The Swift Current Comp. Ardens made history last week with a 4-3 win over Weyburn to clinch a record fourth straight Moose Jaw High School Soccer League title.
There wasn’t much room to maneuver for Cassidy Andres (right) and the Swift Current Ardens during the South Regional championship game Saturday.