Golden Falcons Win Women's OCAA Soccer Championship
The Fanshawe Falcons have soared back to the top of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association women's soccer ranks, earning gold at the 2009 Belairdirect OCAA Women's Soccer Championship in Vaughan on Saturday, October 24, 2009, with a 1-0 victory over the Durham Lords of Oshawa.
Fanshawe's 2009 Women's Soccer team, OCAA Champions
All of the championship game's scoring happened early when Alana Cornet, a second-year London native, found the back of the net in the opening moments of the first half for the Falcons. That would be all that was necessary to secure the championship and Cornet would later collect the Player of the Game award for her effort.
From the sidelines, Head Coach Martin Painter could only sit back and watch the Fanshawe women march on to victory. "We won both games against quality competition and they were all really good," commented Painter. "There were four teams here and any of them could have won it. We executed well and didn't give up a goal and finished when we had to."
"I am a little bit surprised that we won the gold medal, coming into the season we had 15 rookies on our squad and there were a lot of questions," continued the coach. "I didn't really know what to expect and I told the team that before the game today, but as the season went on, we got better and better. The team's work ethic is great and their attitude is great and there is some great talent there. Today I am not surprised we won, but at the beginning of the season I would have been surprised."
Fanshawe's Erin Hemming, an OCAA League All-Star, was named the Championship's Most Valuable Player following the match. "I am so happy that I heard my name," said Hemming. "I didn't think I was going to, but I am so happy that I did." Looking back on the championship day, Hemming reflected on her mood prior to the game and on her team's performances that got them to the National Championship. "I am ecstatic," said Hemming following the gold medal victory. "I am just so happy right now. I was really nervous; I could hardly talk to anybody this morning. I just wanted to be by myself and I was really irritated. But then the game happened and we scored early and we held strong for the last 89 minutes. We scored early in about the first minute or so."
"I thought our team looked awesome from the start. We had a lot of good rookies and we should have a good team again next year as well. So it's a good thing to look forward to. I will be back again next year and I am looking forward to that."
The National Championship is also being hosted in Toronto at the Ontario Soccer Centre, on the same field the Provincial Championship was played.
"I like that it is close, so hopefully we can bring out a bigger fan base," enthused Hemming. "Hopefully we will have a lot of Ontario support.... We are confident now and we will stay confident through till Nationals."
Fanshawe's Alana Cornet, Durham Lords' Daniela Calleri and Humber Hawks' Leslie Quigley were all named to the OCAA championship tournament all-star team. Emily Gillet, also of the Fanshawe Falcons, was named the tournament's top goalkeeper.
The Fanshawe Falcons have now earned the top Ontario seed at the 2009 Big Kahuna/adidas CCAA Women's National Soccer Championship hosted by Humber College from November 4 to 7, 2009.
Championship Tournament All-Stars:
Durham - Daniela Calleri
Fanshawe - Alana Cornet
Humber - Leslie Quigley
Fanshawe - Emily Gillet
Championship Tournament MVP:
Fanshawe - Erin Hemming