The Borderland Soccer League men’s final came down to a single goal as it almost was a forgone conclusion the first team to strike would come out victorious.
Neither teams’ defence was willing to crumble and seemed virtually impenetrable.
It was not until the 82-minute of game two when Kevin Metke goal lifted CJ Contracting 1-0 over Centra Pipelines to claim their second-straight championship title last Tuesday evening.
During the two-game series, every yard was difficult to come by and each battle hard-fought.
Both team’s defences were suffocating as in the back of the minds of each team they were well aware any mistake or score would most likely be impossible to come back from.
CJ’s goalkeeper Jacob Albright voice echoed over the field as he directed traffic. In Albright’s attempt to encourage his teammates, he almost seemed to help will them to victory.
No team wanted to surrender and the possibility of a shootout was looking inevitable.
As CJ’s championship almost slip through their hands midway through the second half.
Ian Jodoin had a chance to give CJ’s the lead on a penalty kick but Centra’s goalkeeper Tyler Mann made a game-saving stop at the time. The momentum felt to change sides in an instant and Centra now had the upper hand.
Persistency paid off as Jodoin as he regained his composure and capitalized on his second opportunity setting up Metke for the winning goal.
Jodoin found a small window of open space on the wing and sent a perfect pass over as Metke as he squeezed on the inside of his defender and beat Mann over his shoulder in the top corner.
“Ian Jodoin got sent in on the wing and then two guys kind of went on the other side so, then it was me and one defender here,” said Metke. “So, then I just tried to beat him to the inside and called for the ball and Ian made a good pass and then I just had a bunch of time and just tried to put it where the goalie wasn’t and just put it high inside the corner,” he added.
“It was more of a better play, the pass, I had all the time in the world.”
Redemption felt good for Jodoin but the championship was an even better feeling.
“It’s a big win, exciting two years in a row. You know lost a couple of important guys this year, but had some young guys come in they played awesome, played really well in the last game, lots of high pressure.”
Jodoin credited the team commitment on defence as the key to victory.
“It was a good effort, played awesome defence high press all the way through and it was just really, really hard work from all the guys and it was a great season,” said Jodoin.
“Hopefully, next season we will be able to get up back to four teams but you know it’s been a good year hopefully the future brings the same,” he added.
Even in the loss Centra played very well and showed a lot of high quality and strong competition, stated Jodoin.
“Centra played a wicked good game. They have lots of really, really good players, awesome first touches, awesome hustle and, yeah, all season both teams were just really good competition and it’s really high quality, so, it’s awesome.”
On the same night of action, La Place Rendez-Vous Voyageurs defeated Al’s Racquet Stringing in a 3-0 shutout to claim the women’s championship.
The Voyageurs were the better team all season with a (7-2-1) record.
In the championship game, the Voyageurs were pushed to their limit by Al’s who kept fighting until the final whistle.
Players from the Voyageurs mentioned it was difficult to find space and open room in Al’s defence. The up-hill battle had both teams trying to discover new ways to try to break through and create holes in each other defence.
Both Nicole Rogozinski and Jenny Dick scored goals in the opening half for the Voyageurs.
Al’s did not back down as they continued to put pressure on the Voyaquers’ defence and force goaltender Hailey Beaudry to make several big saves.
With Beaudry being able to keep Al’s off the score sheet she allowed her team to play with more confidence and freedom.
Maggie Jean finished off the night for the Voyaquers, adding one last goal in the second half.
Even as the season came to an end, the two teams had shared a countless number of battles on the field throughout a hard-fought season. As a final act of camaraderie and sportsmanship, both teams came together and posed for a picture.