Stephanie Parkers soccer career at the University of Victoria will officially be etched in bronze after the fifth-year goalkeeper was instrumental in Sunday afternoons 1-0 (4-1 in penalty kicks) triumph over the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
Lunging to her right, Parker got her hand on Christine Hardies offering on Ottawas first spot kick, virtually demoralizing the Ontario champions and setting the tone for the bronze-medal win.
After a scoreless 90 minutes, Emma Greig was successful on Victorias first attempt just prior to Parkers save. Then when Ottawas Krista Draycott placed the second attempt well over the crossbar and Lindsay Hoetzel came through for a 2-0 Vikes lead, it was virtually done.
It was very exciting to get the bronze, said Parker, while roughly 900 fans who braved the cold and wind at Centennial Stadium enthusiastically cheered on.
Not coming away empty-handed from this weekend was a goal, admitted Parker, one of four graduating seniors. Even though its bronze, were all very excited to be third in the country. Its a huge honour because there are 50 other teams who didnt get here.
An excellent point from Parker, who made a great guess on the first penalty shot.
I decided in my mind I was going to my right, and when she dropped into the middle, I stuck out my hand and hoped for my best and it worked, she said. Then the second girl hit it over, which was also good for us. But for us to score all four was terrific.
Chelsea Lanos finally connected on Ottawas third of five kicks, but only after Jackie Harrison had made it 3-0 in kicks, avenging a missed opportunity from just five yards out in the dying minutes of regulation.
Jaclyn Sawicki put the nail in the coffin with Victorias fourth.
The initial stop, after Greigs goal, was the key, though.
I think it is demoralizing because you become nervous and think, Now we have to score, Parker said of the opponent. And we were so composed. I am so proud of them.
As were the fans, in particular members of the alumni huddled in the VIP tent behind the victorious net.
It was so good for us, fifth-year midfielder Nathalie Scharf said of the save. It gave her [Parker] confidence and us extra confidence, and excitement, too.
Its a great way to go out and its also a great way for them to start next season, on a high note, added Scharf, whose header on a cross from Sarah Douglas just missed in the 84th minute.
Unfortunately, we didnt get first, but this is the farthest Ive ever made it with this team so Im pretty excited. Its exciting for us and for our fans. There was a lot of support from our alumni and I think they were pretty excited to see us win. Tracy [Vikes coach Tracy David] told us that they had been in this position before and its good we came up with the win today.
It was the first medal for Vikes womens soccer since a national title in 2005.
The game was played just before the Queens Gaels and Trinity Western Spartans battled for gold.
We are disappointed that we arent playing in the gold medal game, but it was important to finish off on a high, said David. Winning the bronze was important for us. Its great for our program and its great for our fifth-year players.
We came a long ways, she added of the season. I think youre going to see a lot from this group over the upcoming years.
Janelle Smith and Tessa Margetts are the other two graduating Vikes.
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