Several soccer players from the Tri-Cities have got that championship feeling after helping the women’s and men’s teams at Simon Fraser University to conference titles Saturday.
Coquitlam sophomore Raegan Mackenzie scored the winner in the Red Leafs’ 2-1 win over Western Washington University to claim its first Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship at Ellensburg, Wash.
Mackenzie’s goal in the 81st minute came off a cross from teammate Kaiden Sherwood.
WWU goalkeeper Claire Henninger stopped Mackenzie's first shot but she was able to pounce on the rebound and bounce the winner into the net.
It was the Centennial Secondary grad’s first goal of the season.
“I was in a major dry spot, but scoring in this moment is all that matter I guess, right?” she said after the match.
Mackenzie was also named most valuable player in the conference championship tournament, which SFU entered as the fourth seed. But an upset 4-2 win Thursday over top seed Seattle Pacific put the team into position to play for an automatic berth into the NCAA Div II national championship with Saturday’s victory.
“We’re a program that wants to be elite,” said Red Leafs’ interim head coach Carlo Basso, who's also from Coquitlam. “Today we made a huge statement.”
Coquitlam freshman Sarah Caravatta helped set up SFU’s other goal.
Other Tri-Cities players on the Red Leafs roster are:
- Junior defender Emily Smith, a Centennial SS grad
- Freshman defender Kate Smith, a Centennial SS grad
- Freshman midfielder Alyssa Clark, a Riverside grad
- Freshman winger Kierra Scott, a Centennial grad
Meanwhile, Port Moody’s Hamish Ogden scored in the 25th minute to give the Red Leafs mens team a 4-0 advantage en route to their 5-1 victory over the Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks Saturday at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.
The win gives SFU its first conference championship since 2018 and earns the team a chance to play for a Div !! national title beginning Nov. 16.
Also on the team from the Tri-Cities are:
- Freshman defender Cole Toupin, a Dr. Charles Best SS grad
- Redshirt junior defender Christian Comuzzi, who attended St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby
- Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Maddox Colligan, a Riverside grad
- Redshirt junior defender Aaron Colboure, a Dr. Charles Best grad
Sisters celebrate U-Sports championship
Coquitlam sister Sophia and Ava Ferreira are also celebrating championships after their University of British Columbia Thunderbirds won its eighth women's soccer U-Sports title.
The Thunderbirds defeated the Trinity Western Spartans 1-0 in Kingston, Ont. on a goal in the 119th minute. It's the team's first national championship since 2019.
Sophia Ferreira is no stranger to dramatic championship victories. She scored the winning goal in the second half of extra time when her Centennial Centaurs won the provincial girls high school soccer title in 2018.
In Ferreira's junior season at UBC, she scored four goals and added an assist. Her sister, also a Centennial grad, is a freshman. She had an assist in four appearances.