Renegades 5 Jaguars 4
The Red Deer Renegades may have finished last in the Alberta Women’s Major Soccer League, but they finished off in style.
The Renegades put the finishing touches on their regular season by winning for the second day in a row, beating the Calgary Jaguars 5-4 at Great Chief Park Sunday afternoon.
They upset the No. 2 ranked Edmonton Victoria 2-1 Saturday in Edmonton.
“It’s amazing, we couldn’t have pictured it any better,” said Renegades captain Amber Regnier. “We had a lot of our veterans out (the last two days), which made us that much stronger. Plus the younger players were smart on the ball and made a lot of big plays.”
The Renegades didn’t exactly start strong against the Jaguars, who had only seven players to start the game.
“I think we thought it would be easier than it was,” said Regnier. “We only scored once when they were short and once they got their full lineup we picked up our play and played more like we did Saturday.”
“We were just playing silly,” said Renegades head coach Vic Michalchuk.
“Saturday we came out ready to play. Today we didn’t and the Jaguars did, despite being shorthanded. But the second half we played a bit smarter, more like we did Saturday.”
The Renegades trailed 2-1 at the half Sunday before outstanding striker Heather Lund connected twice, giving her four goals in the two weekend games. Lund’s pair of goal pulled the Renegades into a 3-3 tie and Jackie Andersen broke it open, scoring twice to make it 5-3.
What the Renegades didn’t have Sunday was a veteran keeper, so defender Sam Vockeroth volunteered to go into the goal and despite being beaten four times turned in a good performance.
“We made a keeper,” said Michalchuk with a laugh.
Allison Walsh scored the other Red Deer goal while Felicia Leask had two goals and Chelsie Oddan and Sara Paul one each for the Jaguars.
The pair of wins left the Renegades with a 2-11-1 record.
“It’s a nice way to end the year,” said Michalchuk. “We stumbled at times during the season, but we had most of our players here this weekend, with only Sheila Morrison missing.”
Morrison, who attends the University of Calgary, has been out all season with an injury.
“Not having a full roster hurt us most of the season,” added Regnier. “That’s a reason for our inconsistency. We seemed to have a different lineup every game with four or five people out all the time.”
The Renegades won’t be challenged for their spot in the AMSL, but even if they were they were confident.
“With these last two games under our belts I think we were ready if we would have been challenged,” added Regnier, who believes the team’s strong finish will influence recruits for next season.
“People will remember our finish and when they’re looking at who they’ll play for next summer they’ll remember how we came along this year and hopefully we’ll begin where we left off.”