Tommies Claim ACAA Women's Soccer Title

Tommies Claim ACAA Women's Soccer Title

For the first time in 17 years, the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association women's soccer championship belongs to the St. Thomas University Tommies.

Their last title came in 1999-2000, when current assistant coach Amy Whytewood-Hughes was a Tommie.

The STU squad claimed the ACAA championship after edging the University of King's College Blue Devils 1-0, Sunday afternoon in Saint John.

"It feels fantastic," Tommies head coach Michelle DeCourcey said after the win. "At the beginning of the year we just wanted to take everything one game at a time, and even 45 minutes at a time. It wasn't pretty, but the girls got it done."

Moira Kinney potted the golden goal 26:27 into the first half, finishing a great feed from Sarah Hickman.

The Blue Devils had their chances, particularly late in the second half, but Tommies' Player of the Game Mary Cronin was stellar in net and stopped all ten shots she faced.

DeCourcey said Cronin peaked at the right time, playing her two best games of the season this weekend.

"Mary killed it today," she said. "She was composed and was a real team leader from the back. It was great to see."

In their regular season matchups, the Tommies and Blue Devils played to a pair of draws but DeCourcey believes her team's will to win was the difference maker.

"I think today the will to win was strong," she said. "I know the girls were tired and grinding against some injuries, but they really wanted it."

The Tommies clinched their spot in the ACAA final after topping the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics 2-1 in overtime in the semi-finals. The Blue Devils earned their berth by edging the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus Rams 1-0 in a semi-final that was decided by penalty kicks.

St. Thomas will represent the ACAA at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships in Halifax, November 8-11. DeCourcey said her team will bring the same approach to the national tournament that they brought to these championships.

"I think we'll keep stressing the same things we have been," she said. "We really are prepared, we just need to stick to our game plan and work as a unit."