He’s not trying to downplay the provincial championship, but Jake Stanford isn’t kidding anyone, either: the real carrot for senior soccer players in Newfoundland and Labrador is the impending Canadian championship set for metro St. John’s in October.
And Stanford promises his Holy Cross-Avalon Ford squad, which just won another all-Newfoundland women’s title Sunday, will be ready for the nationals.
“I can guarantee you,” Stanford said Sunday afternoon, following a 2-1 win over Feildians in the provincial final at King George V Park, “we will not be satisfied unless we medal.
“We will be a very motivated group to perform at a high level.”
Holy Cross rattled off its fourth straight Breen’s Jubilee Trophy women’s soccer championship on the strength of two goals from league MVP and scoring champ Jessie Noseworthy. Stacey Hanlon, who performed so well for the Double Blues this season, had the Feildians goal.
It’s the eighth provincial women’s championship for Holy Cross since 2010.
The Canadian championship is slated for Oct. 9-14, and it’s a tournament the perennial provincial champs have been preparing for and dreaming about for some time.
The Crusaders suffered a tough loss in the bronze-medal game at last year’s nationals in Saskatchewan. The year before, Holy Cross won bronze in B.C.
Stanford knows a top three placing at nationals two months from now won’t be easy. So do the players, and the Holy Cross bench boss says they’re prepared to meet the challenge.
“Take someone like Malorie Harris,” Stanford said of his veteran striker, who finished third in regular season league scoring and is in the twilight of a Hall of Fame career. “She doesn’t know how many years she has left.
“We have other players in the same situation, and as a result, they’re a very motivated group.”
Holy Cross sailed through the regular season, losing only two games all year. Ironically, those two losses came to Feildians.
In the Page Playoff 1-2 game Friday night, Holy Cross slipped past Feildians 1-0 on a Harris goal at 87 minutes and a Hannah Noseworthy shutout, punching its ticket to Sunday’s final.
The Double Blues then played Mount Pearl in Saturday’s semifinal after the latter squad beat C.B.S. Calvin Randell Strikers FC 1-0 behind the shutout goaltending of Taylor Doyle and a goal by Jordan Osmond at 85 minutes.
Feildians easily won the semifinal, 11-1 over Mount Pearl on four goals by Hanlon, three by Melissa Reid, two by Camryn Bonia and one each by Jamie King and Morgan Fitzgerald. Aoife Bodman had the Mount Pearl goal.
Holy Cross positively dominated the Jubilee Trophy circuit this season, placing five players amongst the league’s top scorers. Noseworthy was the MVP and top scorer, Keisha Younge was the top defender and six Crusaders – Noseworthy, Harris, Young, Teri Murphy, Nicole Torraville and Paula Whitten – were named to the league’s all-star team.
“We will be a very motivated group to perform at a high level.” — Jake Stanford, coach
But now the Crusaders disband for over a month, with a half-dozen players joining the Memorial Sea-Hawks varsity program, before everyone comes together again for nationals in October.
“Certainly everyone will take a week off,” Stanford said, “but then it’s back to work, maintaining our fitness levels.
“Our fitness has to be above the rest if we really hope to do well at nationals.”
At King George Sunday, it was Noseworthy and Holy Cross striking first, at 31 minutes, before taking a 2-0 lead at the 45-minute mark. Hanlon got Feildians on the board with eight minutes left in regulation time.
They say a team’s best players have to be the best in big games, and that was evident in Sunday’s final with Noseworthy.
“Yes, for sure, Jessie was a leader out there,” Stanford said. “She and Jane Pope did their thing, connecting on the first goal. Jane made a nice cross to the (18-yard) box and Jessie finished it off.
“They came to play. Everyone did, really,” he said. “You know, the girls might have felt a little pressure this season to repeat with the nationals here, and they responded. Give credit to them. We deserved to be rightful champions.”
League awards were handed out prior to the game:Raeleen Baggs Award (regular season MVP) – Jessie Noseworthy, Holy Cross
Sandy Faulkner Award (top scorer regular season) - Jessie Noseworthy, Holy Cross
Rookie of the Year - Jillian Holden (CBS)
Coach of the Year - Andrew Murphy (CBS)
Joy Burt Award (Regular Season Most Spirited) - Taeler Keane (CBS)
Jean Thompson Award (First place regular season ) - Holy Cross
Top Defender - Keisha Younge, Holy Cross
- Jessie Noseworthy, Holy Cross
- Malorie Harris, Holy Cross
- Stacey Hanlon, Feildians
- Katie Joyce, Feildians
- Teri Murphy, Holy Cross
- Keisha Younge, Holy Cross
- Nicole Torraville, Holy Cross
- Paula Whitten, Holy Cross
- Briana Pender, Feildians
- Chantel Armstrong, Feildians
- Sydney Walsh, Feildians
Jubilee Trophy Champions (since 2003)
- 2003 - Guards
- 2004 - Mount Pearl
- 2005 - Sundance Sorella
- 2006 - Paradise Physiotherapy
- 2007 - Mount Pearl Electronic Centre
- 2008 - EPR Kirby/The Dock
- 2009 - EPR Kirby/The Dock
- 2010 - Holy Cross Kirby Group
- 2011 - Holy Cross Kirby Group
- 2012 - Holy Cross Kirby Group
- 2013 - C.B.S. Holy Cross Kirby Group
- 2014 - Kirby United
- 2015 - Kirby United
- 2016 - Holy Cross
- 2017 - Holy Cross-Avalon Ford
- 2018 - Holy Cross-Avalon Ford
- 2019 – Holy Cross-Avalon Ford