Whitecaps Elite Girls win inaugural season in Women’s League with physical game against Surrey United
The Vancouver Whitecaps Elite Girls completed an impressive season in the Metro Women’s Soccer League (MWSL) by winning the MWSL Cup on Sunday with a convincing 2-0 victory over a highly-touted Surrey United SC squad.
“It was a difficult challenge. Surrey really competed and sort of had that Cup final feeling with a lot of fight, some hard tackles and a lot of stops in play,” said head coach Jesse Symons.
“We did very well to keep the ball, and were able to generate a few chances and were able to capitalize.”
Whitecaps goalkeeper Julia McDonald came up big against the tactful set-plays of Surrey and earned the shutout in the process.
“I really credit Julia, our goalkeeper, she did really well on all the set-pieces to hold everything that was played in the penalty box and really stopped many of their attacks because of that,” said Symons.
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In a very physical half, it appeared the teams were trading fouls. Whistle after whistle, the game’s intensity continued to rise.
Whitecaps opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Sessen Stevens sent a picture perfect pass to Jasmin Dhanda who made no mistakes, sending the ball to a charging Summer Clarke who got a breakaway and made the score 1-0.
With the game opened up, the physicality continued until the end of the half.
“At halftime we just talked about being a little more disciplined and just let them know that Surrey’s very dangerous on set-pieces and we can’t give up as many in the second half because they could capitalize on one,” said Symons.
“Second half we really settled the ball down, got them chasing us a bit and we had a little more rhythm which was great.”
In a more controlled second half, neither team wanted to make a crucial error that could change the tide of the game.
The Whitecaps were finally able to get the insurance goal in the 68th minute off a free kick from Aman Shergill.
Shergill played the ball to Rachel Jones who hit the post, but Stevens was there to put in the rebound.
The win gives the Whitecaps their first MSWL Cup in their inaugural season in the league.
Next up for the team, they will join the Pacific Coast Soccer League this summer, where they will play high level teams from British Columbia and Washington, featuring many college-level players
Symons was thrilled with his team’s MWSL campaign and looks forward to their upcoming summer season.
“This group’s been doing really well all year. They really buy in to working hard and training hard. We’ll continue that through April and into May when the summer season starts.”