Women’s 2017 Copa de la Paz Final: Red River College defeats Canadian Mennonite University 2-0

Scoring chances were few and far between in the opening minutes of the women’s final. Red River College keeper, Brittany Derkacz, was the first goalie to face any legitimate scoring chances and she proved to be in fine form early, turning everything away with cool confidence.

After play in RRC’s end quickly switched to a partial break for RRC’s Nadine Reimer, CMU keeper, Lydia Balsille, stepped up and kept the game scoreless by turning a tough shot from Reimer aside.

A hand ball was called on CMU’s April Klassen at 10:55, granting RRC a free kick that they weren’t able to capitalize on. RRC Head Coach, Doug Lawrie, called a time out in hopes of drawing up an opening goal but RRC wasn’t able to convert. 

Scoring opened at the first half’s 10 minute mark when Jenna Dueck stepped up and hammered a shot into the top corner of CMU’s goal on a ball she received from a teammate in CMU’s corner. The shot came from such a distance – nearly half court – that the goal looked to surprise even Dueck when it bulged the twine. At this point the game was given some life and both teams began playing with some urgency.

Red River kept pressing and tested CMU’s Balsille, more often than CMU tested Derkacz. When CMU did get shots on net, Derkacz was forced to make some strong blocks and catches.

With a minute left in the half, Balsille was tested again when Reimer and Lucija Golubic got running up the court on a two-on-one, but the CMU keeper trapped the ball against the ground making a huge stop for her Blazers.

The game entered the intermission with RRC up 1-0 and CMU with 3 fouls to RRC’s 2.

In the first minute of the second half, RRC swarmed CMU’s net and Reimer – who was responsible for most of RRC’s shots up until that point – jammed a close shot in amidst a crowd. The goal stunned CMU, who barely had a chance to get into the flow of the second half before RRC had made it 2-0.

CMU’s All-Conference pivot, Marijka Yaschyshyn, played a defensive game in the first half but moved up in the play in the second. Yaschyshyn’s size and physicality gave her an advantage in one-on-one plays but the stifling defence from RRC’s rotation of Paige Procter, Emeraude Nginda, Jenna Dueck and Megan Castro was superb on the day. CMU struggled to get quality chances let alone any shots that would could beat Derkacz, and the long breaks between the Blazers getting shots on net didn’t help their case.

Balsille was tested several more times in the match as was Derkacz. Both keepers were major factors in the game and both played exceptionally well, but Red River was a more potent offence on the day. At the final horn, Red River College was up 2-0 and once again hoisted the MCAC Women’s Futsal Championship trophy.

CMU’s Lydia Balsille and RRC’s Megan Castro were named Player’s of the Game, while the 2017 Copa de la Paz Most Valuable Player was awarded to RRC’s keeper, Brittany Derkacz.

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