Holy Cross defeat Kirby United for 2016 Newfoundland Labrador championship

Holy Cross SC won the 2016 Newfoundland Labrador women's championship, knocking off the eight-time winners Kirby United SC. Hannah Rivkin was the hero scoring the lone goal of the provincial final in St. John's, Newfoundland Labrador.

The same two teams will meet again in less than two months at the Sport Chek National Championships Jubilee Trophy finals. As this year's host province, Newfoundland Labrador have qualified two teams for the national competition.

"These girls have another challenge ahead," said Noel Jake Stanford, Head Coach of Holy Cross SC's women's team. With some players off to university, Stanford noted "we’ll take a little break and regroup towards the end of September and then focus on the National Championships."

Holy Cross officially qualified three weeks earlier in clinching first overall in the league standings, which guaranteed them a place in the provincial final. Kirby United, meanwhile, qualified for the Jubilee Trophy finals when they won the provincial semi-final over Feildians on 18 August.

In the 20 August provincial championship, Rivkin scored the lone goal on a 76th minute header from an Emily Bailey corner kick. The Holy Cross goal was scored just three minutes after Kirby United had a great chance but went wide of target. Rivkin won the Sherry Morrissey Award as the Most Valuable Player while Alexe Morgan of Kirby United won the Ann Woodford Award as the most effective and spirited player.

"It feels good; it was a good battle again in the final," said coach Stanford. "We’ve got a lot of respect for Kirby United and the veteran players over there. We knew we had to play a high-tempo game to beat them. To get the first title is tough, so for these young girls it’s the first title as adults out of youth soccer. Hopefully there’ll be more to come."

In the provincial final, Holy Cross started Jaime Crocker (goal), Paula Whitten, Michelle Ward, Keisha Yonge, Alyssa Armstrong, Teri Murphy, Hannah Rivkin, Maria Mackey, Jessie Noseworthy, Jen Burry, and Melissa Reid. From the bench, the team included Julie Crocker, Anna Aucoin, Laura Whelan, Noelle Stanford, Emily Bailey, Jenna Bent, Spencer Wilkins, and Lindsay Garland.

Missing was captain Kaelyn Burke who has recently moved west to British Columbia, but will be back for the Sport Chek National Championships in October.

"Some of these girls I’ve coached since they were 10 years old," said coach Stanford. "This is another stage so for me personally, away from being a coach, it’s certainly good to see the girls maturing and doing so well, not only in soccer but in life and university, too."

Kirby United, meanwhile, started Jess MacDermid, Alexe Morgan, Nicole Moores, Maria Oliver, Taeler Kean, Jamie King, Kelsea Furlong, Jenny Tiller, Katie Joyce, Nicole Torraville, and Malorie Harris. From the bench, the team included Aoife Bodman, Lauren Murphy, Destiny Mitchell, Beth Hynes, and Janine Bursey.

Canada Soccer’s Sport Chek National Championships have served as our nation’s premier amateur competition for more than 100 years, with the men’s competition inaugurated in 1913 and the women’s competition inaugurated in 1982. At all age levels, the Sport Check National Championships provide a meaningful soccer experience for host cities and participating teams, as well as the players, coaches, support staff, officials, and volunteers. These competitions are complimented by both the Futsal Canadian Championship (since 2015) and the Amway Canadian Championship featuring Canada’s professional clubs (since 2008).