Vous/Taggs sweep to women’s crown

Joey Payeur

Claire Sobkowicz missed the Game 1 goalfest, so she decided she had some catching up to do.
Sobkowicz tallied twice, including the decisive goal in the second half, to give La Place Rendez-Vous/Taggs a 4-3 victory over Al’s Racquet Stringing in Game 2 of the best-of-three Borderland Soccer League women’s division final Thursday night.
The win gave Vous/Taggs a sweep of the series after a 10-8 triumph in what was an offensive avalanche in Game 1.
Sobkowicz was unable to make it to Game 1 on Aug. 2, but made her mark with a goal in each half of Game 2 that looked remarkably similar.
“On both goals, the ball bounced off one of their defenders in their end and I was able to go in,” she said about her first goal in the 17th minute to make it 2-0 and her second midway through the second half that stretched the lead to 4-1.
“I got lucky,” added Sobkowicz.
“On both, I tried to shoot low. I don’t shoot high because I’ll miss the net,” she laughed.
Sobkowicz said the final was a good representation of the season series between the only two teams in the league, in which Vous/Taggs had a slight 4-3-1 advantage.
“It was kind of back and forth all season from week to week,” she noted.
“It’s not like someone won six in a row and won every time.
“It’s a bummer that we didn’t get a chance to switch it up and play different teams,” Sobkowicz conceded.
“But it’s still fun and at least you’re doing something better than sitting at home.”
Vous/Taggs opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Claire Hyatt sailed an entry pass from near midfield to Jess Caul in full flight down the left side.
Caul measured, aimed, and fired a rocket that glanced off the hand of Al’s keeper Caroline Spencer and in.
After Sobkowicz scored following a strip of Marisa Payne, Vous/Taggs dialed up another lightning strike in the 27th minute.
Hyatt danced her way around Angel McCormack in the Vous/Taggs zone and then busted loose before launching a long bomb to Caul.
Spencer was forced to play the shooter–leaving Hailey Beaudry to sneak in the far side and convert Caul’s pass to make it 3-0.
Only big saves on Beaudry and Caul in the final five minutes by Spencer kept it a three-goal game at halftime.
League goal-scoring leader Sara Kellar put Al’s on the board early in the second half, only to be countered by another Sobkowicz no-doubter in the 65th minute.
Only two minutes later, though, Al’s found new life with a rocket off the foot of McCormack to cut the lead to 4-2.
Kellar bulged the twine again with 10 minutes to go–and had two other golden scoring chances.
But she missed wide on one and was stopped cold on the other by Vous/Taggs’ keeper Phyllis Pierson, a multiple-time indoor league champ who captured her first outdoor title this year.
“We were really passing well and talking, paying attention, and slowing the ball down [in Game 2], which is not normal for us,” admitted Sobkowicz.
“Usually, we’re out there playing pinball.”
Sobkowicz said going to battle alongside younger teammates gave her some extra spark this season.
“I really enjoyed it, although I feel old now. I’m the oldest on the team,” she laughed.
“But even the girls 14 and up made it a lot of fun to be out there,” Sobkowicz added.
“It was a good time.”
Awards for the women’s division were handed out afterwards.
Besides getting the Golden Boot Award as the league’s most productive shooter with nine goals this season, Kellar also took home the most valuable player award.
Teammate Andrea Bell-Perreault was chosen, along with Caul, to share the Heart and Soul Award to be the only other Al’s player recognized.
Pierson was picked as the top goalie while Jaida Norris earned rookie-of-the-year honours.
Alina Eldridge and Hannah Veldhuisen were co-winners for best defence while Becky Selman took home the dedication award.