Al’s Racquet Stringing proved last week that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
After ending the regular season behind front-running La Place Rendez-Vous in the standings, it was second-place Al’s who had the last laugh in the Borderland Soccer League’s women’s division championship final last Tuesday evening.
Al’s used a pair of second-half goals, and some timely goalkeeping from Hailey Beaudry, to eke out a 3-2 win in the winner-take-all contest at the St. Francis Sports Field.
“It ended up being an exciting game for us as we were behind the Vous in the standings for most of the season,” noted Beaudry, who played in goal for the final four games of the season after suffering a foot injury.
“It was nice for our team to come together in the last game for the win, especially since we had a rough semi-final game the week before,” she added.
After Sara Kellar had opened the scoring for Al’s in the early going last Tuesday, Kaylyn Levesque fired a laser past Beaudry just a few minutes before halftime to draw the Vous even at 1-1.
Natalie Desjardins, who was as offensive force for her squad down the stretch of the regular season, then put Al’s ahead once again early in the second half.
After a poor clearing attempt by the Vous’ defence, Desjardins corralled the loose ball and promptly roofed a shot to make it 2-1.
Not to be outdone, Gwen MacDonald drew the Vous even when she fired a long-range strike over the hands of Beaudry and into the top of the net to knot it at 2-2.
Sara Coish then gave Al’s a lead it wouldn’t relinquish later in the half, making a pair of moves before firing home the eventual winner with a low shot into the Vous’ net.
Beaudry earned the win while Alyssa Faragher and Laureen Peters shared keeper duties for the Vous.
“I was playing in goal for part of the season because of an injury but I really enjoyed playing in net a lot,” Beaudry enthused.
“I think our team came together well throughout the season,” she added. “There was a lot of changes to the teams this year with player shuffles and lots of new faces to the league.
“But our team managed to form good communication on the field and [we] built our way up.”
Due to having fewer teams in both the women’s and men’s divisions this season, league president Chris Sinclair and the board decided not to present individual awards.
In the past, the league would hand out awards such as the Golden Boot Award to the top goal scorers, along with honours for MVP, Heart and Soul, rookie-of-the-year, best defence, and most dedicated.