Jordyn Westran couldn’t quite make the final save of the tournament for her team in a long, tense shootout.
However, she was still excited with her team’s performance and her coach was proud of her.
The keeper for the under-12 tier I B St. Albert Impact had an impressive game in her team’s finale of the Victoria Day Classic in St. Albert on Sunday.
“It was pretty cool,” Westran said. “I’m still pretty happy with how we did.”
Her team finished fourth out of six teams in the division, losing to rival Scottish United of Edmonton 3-2 in the bronze-medal game.
A person couldn’t have written a more exciting end to the game and tournament for the Impact with the winning goal coming from the ninth Scottish shooter on penalty kicks.
“Jordyn did very well,” said her coach, Steve Farrell. “She’s pretty new as far as playing goal. She came out of community last year. She’s got a lot of natural ability. We’re just working with her technique. I think she’ll make a great keeper if she keeps up with it.”
Westran said she’s been playing soccer since she was six, but she just started playing keeper last year when she joined the tier I Impact.
“So this is a big jump for her,” Farrell said. “Community to tier one, that’s a huge jump, actually. She’s coming [along]. I believe when she puts her mind to it, she does a good job. She was solid in net today.”
Neither the Impact nor the Scottish could put the ball in the net during the first 90 minutes, nor in either five-minute extra time half, so the teams went to a shootout. Through the first five shooters for each team, the score was knotted at two apiece with Kendall Porter and Cassidy ParĂ© scoring for the Impact.
From that point on, it came down to sudden death: if the first shooter scored, the other team had to respond, or else it was game over. When it came to round nine, the Impact shooter missed. The Scottish player lined up, shot it high and down the middle. Westran reached up and got a piece of the ball, but it deflected up, off the crossbar and into the net.
Although Farrell is happy with the ability and potential he sees in his young keeper, Westran is a little less enthusiastic for her new position, except during games like her most recent one.
“It’s OK,” she said. “You just don’t do that much unless it’s a good game like this game.”
Meanwhile, in the tournament’s under-18 tier II division, the St. Albert Impact finished last in the five-team division, but coach Jamie Robertson wasn’t disappointed.
The team normally plays in tier III and they were shorthanded all tournament. They didn’t have any available substitutes, so all of their players had to play the full 90 minutes.
“They had to change the schedule of the tournament at the last moment (because one team in the division withdrew), and many of my players work and they had made arrangements, originally, to play the games that we had on our schedule, but when they changed the schedule at the last moment, many of my girls weren’t able to get work off,” Robertson said.
In addition, the schedule for the division spread over just three days, so the Impact had to play once Friday, once Saturday and once Sunday. Robertson said playing two games in one day at a level this high is going to wear on a team and that it was evident in their final loss, 4-0 to the NSD Force ’93 of Calgary.
“They weren’t too aggressive,” said the Impact’s 18-year-old captain Emily Pavelich. “We just didn’t get to the ball enough. They were a fair team … The other teams were tougher competition. This wasn’t as tough. It was more of an equal standing.”
In their previous games, the Impact lost 1-0 to the Edmonton Drillers, 2-0 to the Blizzard Avalanche of Calgary and 6-0 to the NSDSC Heat, also of Calgary.
The two other Impact teams in the tournament also failed to medal. The under-16 tier II team finished sixth out of six teams and the under-14 tier I team finished fifth in their six-team division after losing their two round robin games, but winning the consolation game.