With the high school soccer provincial playoffs kicking off this month, the Sacred Heart Saints girls soccer team finished September off strong in road tournaments in Moose Jaw and Prince Albert. With a B Side championship in the 16 team Noose Jaw tournament and a bronze medal in Prince Albert the Saints got valuable match experience against top 3A high schools as well as rival 2A sides in their preparation for provincial qualifiers and likely the provincial tournament later in the month.
In Moose Jaw the Saints girls won their first two games, including a second half comeback to win 2-1 against Weyburn before losing to Regina Leboldus in the third round robin game, sending them to the B Side. In the B Side playoffs the Saints dispatched Evan Hardy 2-1 in the semi-final from two goals from Rita Fetsch before setting up a rematch from their home tournament with Prince Albert St. Mary’s. In the rematch of their 1-nil defeat the Saints benefited from the return of Fetsch, who potted two goals in the 2-2 game, sending it to penalty kicks where the Saints prevailed. The win was the Saints first ever against PA St. Mary’s and gave the Saints the highest finish of all the 2A schools in the tournament and an impressive showing against schools reaching almost four times the size of Sacred Heart’s enrollment. In a five game in two day stretch coach Jeanne Fetsch likened the weekend in Moose Jaw to “running a marathon” and was impressed with her teams effort in a difficult tournament trip for her squad. Kaitlin Inglis and Kristen Jonassen played remarkable on defense all weekend, and Shayla Merriam played strong in midfield in what was the highest finish for the Saints in Moose Jaw.
The following weekend the Saints headed up to Prince Albert where the Saints once again went to compete against top 3A competition to prepare for their 2A playoff run. The Saints opened the weekend with a 8-1 drubbing of the PA Carlton B team with six goals from Fetsch as well as Kaylee Ford and Lauren Maier markers, the win set up a third game of the season with Prince Albert St. Mary’s and an opportunity to advance to the tournament finals. However a second straight win over St. Mary’s was not in the cards as the home team won 3-nil and sent the Saints to the bronze medal game where they beat Lloydminster 1-nil to secure a medal and finish the weekend with another winning record.
The tournament put the Saints record at the season at 7-4, playing mostly upper division 3A schools, giving them a added advantage of playing tougher competition heading into their 2A provincial title quest. Shayla Merriam was praised in moving from midfield to centreback in place of the regular starter on the weekend and doing an admirable job out of position. Rookie Taneisha Roussin and defender Connor Rosluk also earned praise from coach Fetsch for their performances in Prince Albert
The Saints are still undefeated in their own 2A level of SHSAA schools and have competed in close matches with some of the best 3A schools in the province, showing that they are a skilled and competitive side that will be top class in their category at the end of the month when regional playoffs begin. The Saints now look to work in practice to maintain match fitness as well as improve on skills in preparation for their playoff fixtures at the end of the month. Friendlies against the YRHS and Hamiota to continue to get match experience in.