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Shalan Armstrong’s goal takes ‘Canes to ACAA title

October 28, 2013

10517822203_49c0360505_oThe Holland College Hurricanes men’s and women’s soccer teams batted .500 against the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics in their respective Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association championships on Sunday in Cornwall.

The ‘Canes women won 1-0 over MSVU on a first-half goal by veteran Shalan Armstrong and solid goalkeeping by Emma Kelly, while the ‘Canes men lost 1-0 in overtime on a penalty kick by ex-Holland College striker Jeff Rodgerson.

The women’s team advances to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championship Nov. 6-9 in Surrey, B.C., hosted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Meanwhile, the Mystics advance to the men’s national tournament Nov. 6-9, in Saint John, N.B., hosted by UNBSJ.

Women

Hurricanes 1 Mystics 0

Shalan Armstrong’s first-half goal proved the winner as the ‘Canes downed Mount Saint Vincent 1-0 to earn the Charlottetown school’s third ACAA soccer title since 2008 (and revenges a 1-0 loss to MSVU in last year’s title game).

“It was lucky. (The ball) bobbled out, I hit it with my left foot and it went in the top corner. That’s all I can say about the goal. Meant to happen,’’ said the 20-year-old Armstrong, a Chester, N.S., native, of her marker from the top of the scoring box. “It’s an amazing feeling (winning the title). I’m one of the old seniors and I never thought it would happen but it did.’’

Each team bottled up the other’s offensive stars as neither Megan Spicer and Kristin Hood of Holland College, who had nine and 12 goals respectively this season, nor MSVU’s Jessica Oliver Hill, who had 13 goals, got good looks at the opposing nets.

Solid goalkeeping did its part, too.

Kelly pitched the shutout, her second of the tourney. She notched a 1-0 shutout against top-seeded King’s College in Saturday’s semifinals to help the fourth-seeded ‘Canes reach the final.

Kelly’s secret?

“I don’t know. Lots of rest, and peanut butter toast,’’ said the 20-year-old Charlottetown native who played with Cape Breton University two seasons ago. “I’m still in shock. I missed going to the nationals with CBU two years ago so (it’s good to be going back).’’

And MSVU keeper Ashley Morell played as well as Kelly, minus the one miscue. Morell led her second-seeded team to a 1-0 win over third-seeded St. Thomas in Saturday’s other semi.

Holland College may have secured its fate by an aggressive posture after halftime.

Instead of going into a defensive shell around Kelly, the ‘Canes attacked the MSVU zone keeping the Mystics pinned in its zone and limiting offensive chances.

“We knew that they would come at us hard in the second half so we wanted to put one in the net before they did,’’ said Armstrong. “(In the end) we played better defence.’’

Armstrong and Kelly are enrolled in the Sport and Leisure Management program.

Men

Mystics 1 Hurricanes 0 (OT, penalty kick)

It took over 120 minutes of soccer to decide the men’s ACAA winner, but Mount Saint Vincent striker Jeff Rodgerson was happy to finish off the Hurricanes with a penalty kick goal 14 minutes into first overtime frame.

The referee called a Holland College defender for taking down a Mystics forward in the scoring box and called the penalty shot.

And Rodgerson, a Summerside native and former Hurricanes player, did what he could.

“I thought it could be a storybook ending where I played for Holland College, and I stepped up and took the shot,’’ said Rodgerson, who had three goals with the ‘Canes last season. “It was a huge relief, I guess. Coming back here, playing against the team I played with (before), I needed to relieve some nerves and that goal definitely did it.’’

As in the women’s game, the goalkeepers were top shelf.

The ‘Canes Logan Doiron and the Mystics Andrew Mason kept their squads alive with solid save after solid save, timely punch-outs around the crease and good positioning.

Luck had a part, too. Hurricanes striker Mark Kamara’s shot in the first overtime had Mason beat, but it bounced off the far post and out of bounds.

And that was the way the game went for the ‘Canes, said fullback Tyler Ellis.

“Each team had opportunities, but we couldn’t put ours in the net,’’ said Ellis, a London, Ont., native. “Always a tough way to lose on a penalty kick. But someone has to be the winner.’’

Holland College, ranked second in the tourney, defeated number three King’s College 1-0 in Saturday’s semifinal while the top-seeded Mystics downed fourth-seed UNBSJ 2-0 in Saturday’s other semi.

Story credited to Charles Reid from The Guardian

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For media inquiries please contact:

Daniel Cudmore

Athletics Development and Communications Coordinator

Department of Athletics and Recreation

Holland College

(902) 894-6870

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