Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
-With files from Trinity Western Athletics
LANGLEY, B.C. – It's a true heartbreaker.
With their Canada West semifinal match on Friday night seemingly headed for overtime tied 0-0, an 87th minute goal by UBC's Tess McRae stunned the MacEwan Griffins women's soccer team on Friday night.
Danielle Steer added another against the run of play as the Griffins furiously pressed forward for an equalizer to make the final 2-0.
"It's disappointing, for sure," said MacEwan head coach Dean Cordeiro. "I thought we deserved better today. For a good 70 minutes of that match, we were playing our game and we put them in very difficult spots.
"But the name of the game is you've got to put the ball in the back of the net and unfortunately we had a few really good looks and it just wasn't meant to be today."
With the win, the Thunderbirds are off to Saturday's Canada West final against Trinity Western, while the Griffins will meet the Saskatchewan Huskies for the bronze medal.
The silver lining for MacEwan is there are three berths to the U SPORTS national championship this year out of Canada West, so a victory in that match (Saturday, 5:30 p.m. MT) would still punch their ticket for the first time.
They will look to turn the page quickly.
"We're going to be ready," said Cordeiro. "We're a team that has a high standard. We left it out there, we talked about it after. Now we're on the bus on our way back and it's all about tomorrow now.
"There are two teams that are a bit disappointed with how things went today and tomorrow you've got to be ready. This team will, I promise you that. They'll be ready."
Samantha Gouveia was named player of the game for the Griffins (Scott Stewart photo).
On Friday night, the Griffins had a couple of golden first-half chances to open the scoring. Meagan Lemoine was sent in on a break and seemingly had a path to slot it into an open side of the net but was bumped off the ball enough to send the shot wide.
"We thought we'd scored there," said Cordeiro. "It was such a tight space we thought the ball went in."
Salma Kamel also had a great look off a corner kick that was labelled for the top corner, but UBC goalkeeper Emily Moore made a great save – one of five stops on the day.
Breanna Truscott was also excellent in net for MacEwan, making seven saves in the contest.
"We had some really good looks and we deserved to maybe be up a goal by half," said Cordeiro. "But nobody's going to give it to you. You've got to go take it and I think we learned that lesson today that you've got to take what's yours. You have to go earn it."
Unfortunately, it was UBC who took the game late as Steer got some run down the left side and played a ball into the box for Nisa Reehal to pound on net. McRae was there to tap the rebound in.
"Credit them, they're a very good team," said Cordeiro of the defending national champs. "They got a goal late and then at that point, we went for it and pushed people on. They ended up scoring another one late, so it was a little bit of heartbreak.
"The mood is a little bit disappointment because we probably deserved better, but we've got to quickly turn the page and get ready for tomorrow."