By CLAUDE SCILLEY
As he lauded the play of his team’s defence, and goalkeeper Kristin Treitz in particular, Kingston Blues coach Colin McCue tipped his hat to another lady after his team captured the senior girls high school soccer championship Thursday—Dame Fortune.
“Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better game that we played, but also some things that happened during the game kind of went in our favour,” McCue said, after KC blanked the previously unbeaten Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers 3-0 on Miklas-McCarney Field.
“Luck was on our side a bit today,” McCue said, “and you always need a little bit of luck when you play a team like Regi.”
Not the least bit of good fortune was the fact that a number of Panthers weren't available, since they're on a school mission to Jamaica.
The Panthers, first-place team in the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association season, were 8-0 coming into the game, and they’d won five of the last six county championships. KC, 7-1, had its only loss this year against Regi, a 2-0 setback on April 29.
Indeed, that was the only time this year that anyone managed to score a goal against the Blues, who haven’t allowed a goal in the six games since.
“We felt we could play with them if we played our best,” McCue said. “We managed to get one in the first 10 minutes of the game, which really gave us a lot of confidence, and our players kept playing hard.”
McCue said his team’s collective defensive play was better Thursday than it was in that match with Regi a month ago.
“We had to play much better as a team on defence, not to allow them to get too many runs on our goalie or too many passes or too much play inside our end,” he said. “We were able to do that. We picked our game up that way.”
Treitz made two splendid saves that McCue said were instrumental in the victory. They came with the game still close, 2-0 at the time, and the Panthers, a team that scored 37 goals in the eight regular-season and playoff matches before Thursday—13 of them in their two post-season victories—eager to get back in the contest.
“That’s the kind of lead you really don’t want to have, because one goal puts a team right back in it,” McCue said, “and a team like Regi, with all the skill they have, that would just be too close for comfort.”
Maddy Malcolm scored twice for KC, while Evie Streight scored the game’s other goal.
It wasn’t immediately known when the last time was that KC won a senior girls soccer championship, but it hasn’t happened in the 10 years that the Steve Mantle Memorial Trophy has been presented.
“It’s always nice to win KASSAA, and we haven’t won it in a long time,” said McCue, adding it’s especially nice to have done so against Regi, a school with which KC’s athletic rivalry extends more than 100 years.
“It’s always fun to play Regi, with all that history,” McCue said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of year the teams are having, these games bring out the best in both teams.”
As the city’s top AAA school, Regi was already assured, regardless of Thursday’s outcome, that it would be going to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations triple-A championship tournament. That event will take place June 4-6 in Windsor.
The Blues, meanwhile, will seek the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s double-A OFSAA berth Wednesday, when they will host the area tournament.