U16 Tier II Renegades fall to Edmonton in provincial final
Red Deer Renegades head coach Ezad Elkaz would have loved to be celebrating a provincial championship Sunday afternoon at Edgar Park, but second place at the provincial U16 Tier II girls’ soccer championships isn’t bad.
“You always want to finish on top, that’s the way it is in any competitive sport, but I’m happy with second place,” said Elkaz following a 2-0 loss to Edmonton Juventus. “Congratulations to Edmonton. They have a very competitive, hard-working team.”
They also played solid defence to handle a talented Red Deer crew, although Elkaz felt a couple of calls could have went the other way and possibly changed the momentum.
“There were a couple of calls, but that’s the way it is in any sport,” he said.
Elkaz can look back at a solid season for the young team, that was made up of 14 and 15 year-olds.
“It was an excellent season. We finished second in the Edmonton league, which is the top youth competitive soccer in the province for that age and then second in the provincials . . . I’m a happy coach.
“Really Red Deer is a smaller community when it comes to soccer, so to finish second is great. But we’re also trying to be first and what the Renegades program and the Red Deer City Soccer are doing will take us in that direction.
“I believe we will be first in the province.”
The U16 squad certainly has the talent as several players have played with the Alberta Major Women’s Soccer League Renegades this season, including Robyn MacDonald, who has already scored once in the province’s top league.
“She is one of my top players but then all my players are top players,” said Elkaz. “They all put their heart and soul into the team and play to win. And really this weekend was our best soccer of the season.”
The Renegades reached the final by beating Edmonton SWU Fury 2-0 and the Mill Woods Selects 3-0. MacDonald had two goals in both games with Elizabeth Morneault connecting against the Selects.
• Meanwhile, on the boys’ side the Renegades whipped Mac United 9-1 in the bronze medal game as Theoren Gill scored four times. Ryan Vleeming added three goals and Eduardo Morales and Colin Irons one each.
In pool play the Renegades downed Edmonton SWU Milan 6-0, lost 1-0 to SW United and 3-2 to Sherwood Park Phoenix.
Gill had three goals against Milan with Keegan Reid, Irons and Antonio Suhalj connecting once each. Ajden Sarcevic had two goals against Phoenix.
l In provincial U14 Tier II girls’ action the Renegades were 1-2. They defeated WRC Thunder 5-2 and lost 2-1 to both the St. Albert Impact and Edmonton Inter.
Shae Demale scored all seven goals for the Renegades.