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Feildians maintain hopes of national title for N.L. by blanking Holy Cross in Jubilee Trophy play

Zoe Rowe, shown in action in Feildians opening game Wednesday, scored both her team's goals in a 2-0 win over their provincial counterparts, the Holy Cross Crusaders, on Thursday. — NLSA photo/Twitter
Zoe Rowe, shown in action in Feildians' opening game Wednesday, scored both her team's goals in a 2-0 win over their provincial counterparts, the Holy Cross Crusaders, on Thursday at the Jubilee Trophy national senior women's championship. — Trevor Wragg photo via NLSA/Twitter

Loss means Crusaders won’t make podium in Canadian women's event; Holy Cross men also have two losses, but haven't been eliminated from medal contention in Challenge Trophy tourney in metro St. John's

If you are waving the colours for Newfoundland and Labrador’s gold-medal hopes at the Toyota Canadian senior soccer championships, then your flag should probably be blue.

The Feildians Greensleeves Double Blues added to their impressive opening at the Jubilee Trophy national women’s tournament by defeating provincial champion and arch-rival Holy Cross Avalon Ford 2-0 Thursday at the Topsail Complex in Conception Bay South.

Feildians’ Bethany Hynes (left) heads the ball as she’s challenged by Jessie Noseworthy of Holy Cross during their preliminary-round game at the Jubilee Trophy national women’s soccer championship Thursday at the Topsail Complex in C.B.S. — Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Feildians’ Bethany Hynes (left) heads the ball as she’s challenged by Jessie Noseworthy of Holy Cross during their preliminary-round game at the Jubilee Trophy national women’s soccer championship Thursday at the Topsail Complex in C.B.S. — Keith Gosse/The Telegram

That result leaves Feildians tied for first place in their four-team pool with Alberta’s Edmonton Northwest United. Those teams will meet in their final preliminary-round game noon Saturday at the Rainbow Gully pitch in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s. A win in that one would send Feildians into Sunday’s gold-medal game and guarantee the team will have the best-ever finish for a Newfoundland female entry at a national senior championship.

Holy Cross now holds that distinction, having earned a bronze medal at the 2017 event in Surrey, B.C.

The Crusaders had high hopes of improving on that result this year on home soil, having dominated provincial Jubilee Trophy play all summer, leading up to a 2-1 win over Feildians in the final.

But Holy Cross lost 3-1 to Edmonton in their Wednesday opener and combined with Thursday’s loss, means the team has no hopes of a top-two finish in the pool and advancement to medal play.

Feildians, meanwhile, came up with a big 1-1 tie against the defending Canadian champions from Scarborough, Ont., in their first game Wednesday and carried the momentum they gained into their second contest, where they got two goals from Zoe Rowe, shutout goalkeeping from Sydney Walsh and an overall confident-looking team performance.

While the Holy Cross women cannot win a medal, they can help their Newfoundland counterparts by defeating Scarborough or playing them to a draw when the teams meet noon Saturday at the Middle Smallwood Field in Mount Pearl. The Ontario teams has two ties so far, including a 2-2 result against Edmonton Thursday.

If Scarborough loses to Holy Cross Saturday, Feildians is assured of at least a place in the tournaments bronze-medal game, no matter what they do against the Albertans.

There is no play in the eight-team Jubilee Trophy tournament today.

Meanwhile, Holy Cross Kirby Group, the lone Newfoundland entry in the Challenge Trophy national men’s championship tournament, being conducted concurrently in the metro St. John’s region, has also lost its first two games. That includes a 2-1 setback at the hands of the Central City Breakers of Surrey, B.C., Thursday evening at King George V Park in St. John’s.

Because the Holy Cross men are part of a five-team pool — there are 10 entries in the Canadian Challenge Trophy competition — they have a couple of preliminary-round games remaining and still have a shot at getting a top-two finish in the pool. However, the Red and Gold home side will need wins in its two remaining games and some other results to work in their favour.

Otherwise, they will be left, as are the Holy Cross women, to participate in a consolation/placement game.

The Crusader men face the Winnipeg Lions (0-1-0) at 6 p.m. today at the Topsail pitch and Picarroons Reds (1-0-0) of Fredericton, N.B., at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at King George V.

Holy Cross is hamstrung by being inus-four in goal differential, which can be used to break standings ties, but that stat would have been worse had not Jake Warren scored for the Newfoundland champions in extra time Thursday.

ack Haywood was in the Holy Cross goal, taking over for normal starter Sam Hawco, who had picked up a red card late in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Scottish and as a result, received a two-game suspension from Soccer Canada’s disciplinary panel.

That means Hawco will be eligible to return Saturday against New Brunswick.


brendan.mccarthy@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @telybrendan

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