Barker goals decide both Borderland finals

The Borderland Soccer finals on Monday night had two things in common—both were decided by a goal, and both deciding goals were scored, interestingly enough, by Barkers.

Tyler Barker scored the only goal of the men’s final for Domino’s early in the second half to lead his team over the Emo squad in their 1-0 final. In another tense conclusion, Trista Barker found the net for Taggs in a shootout that followed a 1-1 tie between her team and Gillons.

“Mine was luck, his was skill,” Trista said when asked to compare her effort to that of her brother Tyler. She said she didn’t know Tyler had the only goal in the men’s final, which ended a few minutes before her game went to kicks, “but it doesn’t surprise me.”

On the men’s side, the key to the win was simply that the younger Barker scored on one of the few exceptional scoring chances in the game. 

On a quick three-man breakaway close to the net, Tyler took a clean, clear shot that was able to beat Emo goaltender Thomas Edwards.

The striker said afterward he wasn’t aware there were no defenders coming, and gave most of the credit for setting up the goal to teammate Joel Ashworth. 

“I just stole it from him, to tell you the truth,” he laughed.

Shane Ikert, a forward for Emo, said it was hard for his team to take their first loss to Domino’s all season in the final but it was a well-played game. 

“It was good. Fair chances, just didn’t capitalize on it,” he said. “It could’ve gone either way. Bounce here, bounce there—not to take anything from Domino’s.”

“Their team’s stacked. I wonder why we beat them all season,” teammate Wade Friesen joked.

For his part, Domino’s coach Sone Sonnasinh paid plenty of respect back to his opponents. 

“We’ve been playing well all year, but the Emo team is a very, very, very good team,” he said. “I’m really, really pleased with my team.

On the women’s side, it looked like Gillons might have an easy time of it after Laureen Cousineau buried a ball Taggs goaltender Sabrina Stoessinger was attempting to corral. 

Katie McTavish managed to find the net midway through the second half to set up a long series of penalty kicks in which their left forward Trista Barker was responsible for the deciding shot.

“I hate penalty kicks,” Trista admitted after. “Too much pressure.”

Gillons goaltender Amy Wilson-Hands said it was “a pretty fair fight” and while losing such a close match was tough, it was nothing to be ashamed about.

“We have a good core of Gillons players and we play hard, so losing’s not too bad,” she said.

The triumphant Taggs side were quick to admit how much they wanted to beat a team that was in the running for the top spot in the league with them all season.

“It is kind of a rivalry. Both teams really wanted to win,” Stoessinger said.