After a successful season the Sacred Heart Saints girls soccer team came up one goal short of winning a provincial championship Saturday in Saskatoon, losing 3-2 in the finals to Saskatoon’s Bishop J Mahoney. The Saints had a terrific weekend, easily walking into the finals where they came across the two time defending provincial champions, who proved too much to handle.
Sacred easily vanquished Regina high schools Sheldon Williams and Miller in the quarterfinals and semifinals on their path to the final. In the quarterfinals Rita Fetsch scored four goals in addition to a Morgan Shymanski goal in a 5-nil rout before a hat trick by Bryce Sherring and two more goals from Morgan Shymanski proved to be the difference in a 6-nil win over Miller in the semifinal.
Bishop J Mahoney found themselves in the final after a 5-nil win over Humboldt and a 5-2 win over Notre Dame, the team they beat in the finals in their two previous championship runs. The finals matchup was then set for a true David and Goliath battle between Mahoney and the Saints.
Sasktoon’s Bishop J Mahoney featured nine club players in Sasktoon’s premier division, making Sacred’s rookie laden team massive underdogs despite their own impressive record heading into the final. Mahoney showed why they were the two time defending champions, opening the game with two goals to give them a commanding first half lead. Rita Fetsch came up big as usual for Sacred, whittling the lead to one with a brilliant goal after beating two defenders to put the score to 2-1. However Mahoney’s Steph O’Donnell’s second goal of the game put Mahoney back up 3-1 and proved too big of a gap for the Saints to overcome. Fetsch was taken down in the penalty box and converted in the 80th minute to return the score to 3-2 and made things interesting in the end, but ultimately Mahoney was too much to handle in earning their third consecutive provincial crown.
Coach Jeanne Fetsch was proud of her team’s effort all season in finishing with a 13-5 record saying, “On paper we shouldn’t have even been in this game, but we were and our girls exhibited the true meaning of playing with heart.” Sacred Heart defenders Katie Inglis, Connor Rosluk, and forward turned defender for this game, Kaylee Ford all played great, covering nicely for each other according to Fetsch. Two of the three Mahoney goals were off of set pieces, which proved to be the difference in the final. Absent from the line up for the final was key player Kristen Jonassen whose dominating midfield presence was missed by the Saints. Fetsch mentioned that many of her girls have never played soccer before having a total of nine rookies on the team and would also like to thank graduating players Shayla Merriam, Kaitlin Inglis, and Connor Rosluk for their leadership, their dedication and their commitment to Saints soccer.
After a successful school soccer season some of the Saints players will join the defending club provincial champion Yorkton United FC squad and look to return to success next season as a group that will only see three players graduate will look to compete in the quest to end Bishop Mahoney’s reign at the top of 2A girls soccer.