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Roller coaster day ends with Trojans winning bronze

LETHBRIDGE, ALTA., (March 17, 2019) - It was an up and down kind of day for the SAIT Trojans women's futsal team.


They began the day allowing a goal with just one second left on the close to lose their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) semifinal 3-2 to The King's University Eagles, but finished it up with bronze medals around their neck after beating Keyano College 5-1 at the event hosted by the Lethbridge College Kodiaks.


"We had that first game today, but things slipped away from us. We're a young team, and hopefully we learn from it," said Trojans head coach John Talerico. "That said, the way we bounced back from it and played in the bronze medal game was wonderful."


The Trojans didn't get much of an opportunity to lick their wounds following their disappointing semifinal loss, as the bronze medal game was scheduled for just an hour and 45 minutes later.


Talerico said the quick turnaround was a good thing.


"Having to play again so quickly was to our advantage," he said. "We weren't sitting around dwelling on it. We were able to come out and play loose like we did all weekend."


In the bronze medal game, SAIT took a 1-0 lead into halftime thanks to a goal from Rachelle LaBranche. 


After that, they stepped on the gas pedal and added four more courtesy Mataya Blakney, Taylor Zimmer, Jaime McPherson and a lucky bounce goal from keeper Amy Offredi.


"We stayed calm, and that translated to more chances for us," Talerico offered. "Once we got the third one, we were feeling really good."


Despite futsal being a part of the ACAC programme since 2011, this was the first season the Trojans men's and women's teams took part. Talerico is happy with his team's result their first year out, but hopes better results are only a short walk down the road.


"It was a great experience, especially for those returning. This is such a great atmosphere," he said. "It's a lot different than playing in a women's league in Calgary. It's a lot of games in a short amount of time - we played six in three days this weekend - but we enjoyed ourselves and look forward to the coming years."


Offredi was named an All-Tournament First Team selection, while Blakney earned Second Team honours.