NAIT men’s and women’s soccer teams headed to nationals
The Ooks women’s and men’s soccer squads return this year to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national championships following gold and silver wins at the provincials.
The women’s team, 8-1-1 in the regular season, defeated the Concordia Thunder 3-1 in Edmonton on Oct. 28 in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) final, winning gold, and earning a spot at the CCAA tournament. The game was dubbed the “snow bowl” due to flurries during the match.
“We are so proud of the accomplishments of our NAIT women’s soccer team,” said Linda Henderson, NAIT’s director of athletics and recreation. “They were poised, determined and focused as they captured their second consecutive ACAC championship. They are true NAIT student-athlete ambassadors.”
Henderson said the team worked tirelessly throughout the year to overcome a number of injuries to key players and in the end came out on top.
“This was a great weekend for us,” said women’s coach Carole Holt, whose team played three games in three days. “We seemed to get better as the weekend went on, though the number of games played was both physically and mentally draining. When you add the weather conditions in, it made for an interesting final. We had some great individual performances on top of a fantastic team performance so it all seemed to come together for us.”
The women’s national tournament, hosted by Holland College, runs Nov. 7-10 in Charlottetown, PEI. The NAIT women have won silver at the CCAA nationals the past two years, losing both times to Collège François-Xavier-Garneau.
The men, meanwhile, won provincial silver in Red Deer on Oct. 28 in a double overtime match against the SAIT Trojans, in a game also played snowy conditions. The final score was 2-1.
The silver finish means the team also advances to the CCAA national championship with a wildcard berth. The men’s tournament will be held Nov. 7 – 10 in New Westminster. B.C., hosted by Douglas College.
“We are very proud of the NAIT men’s soccer team who lost a heart breaking 2-1 final in extra time,” said Henderson. “The men played hard and represented very well. Their depth, poise and experience will carry them far as they compete to defend their 2011 national championship at this year’s nationals.”
Men’s coach Jeff Paulus added: "While a silver medal is not what we had hoped for, the team's play and ability to still play possession football on a field that represented a skating rink showed the true quality of our players. We know we have been given a lifeline with the wildcard berth to nationals.”
The men finished the 2012 ACAC regular season in first place, with a 9-1-0 record. Last year, NAIT’s men’s team captured gold at the 2011 CCAA national championship, defeating the Holland Hurricanes 2-1 following 30 minutes of overtime play.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
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