The Red Deer Polytechnic Queens’ soccer team is still on cloud nine after winning their first-ever Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Championship on Sunday.
In the gold medal game, the Queens won a narrow 1-0 victory over the Concordia University Thunder and punched their ticket to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Soccer National Championships.
Head coach Mahziar Peyrow said it was pretty cool to be a part of the historic win for the school.
“It was pretty insane,” he said. “It was hard to take in that at first it was just so overwhelming. A lot of emotions swept through and everyone was so excited. We made a promise to ourselves at the beginning of the season that we were going to stay focused and that was going to be the end result… It was amazing when it became real.”
Looking back at the season he said it felt long because of all the steps they had to take in order to get to where they are today.
The lone goal of the game was scored by fifth-year captain Alisha Coules in her final ACAC game. Peyrow explained she has always been a great player but this season he saw something special in her game.
“She’s played amazing. Those last two games were unreal and she led the team extremely well. She did what she had to do. She put away two very important goals the first goal in the semi-finals and then the winning goal that took us to nationals,” he said.
Coules said it’s hard to put how it feels to win the ACAC Championship into words but described it like it was a blur.
“Your adrenaline is going and I think everybody we worked so hard all year and it all came together. I think it was a rewarding feeling,” she said.
Five seasons ago when Coules began her collegiate soccer career with the Queens she made it a goal to make it to the national championships at least once. As the captain of the squad in her final year, Coules has reached that goal and she said being able to lead this team for the past three years has been a wonderful accomplishment.
“To see the girls grow together as a team we’re a family at this point,” she said.
To be able to kick the game-winning goal into the back of the net in such a big moment Coules added was rewarding.
“To have a family behind you was the best feeling and the most heartfelt story,” Coules said.
The CCAA Soccer Championships will be hosted by Champlain College Saint-Lambert in Quebec from Nov. 9-12. The Queens will have to play without rookie sensation Sein Furuyama who broke the single-season goal record earlier this year. Furuyama suffered a possible tear in her knee during the gold medal game and Peyrow said even though her season is over she will travel with the team to nationals.
“I think if they play the way they’ve been playing and they stay together and play as a team I think they can definitely compete this year,” Peyrow said. “Our goal going into nationals is for the girls to achieve a medal… We’re going to do our best to get there.”