Holy Cross wins 1st National Women’s Amateur Soccer Championship in NL.
Holy Cross FC lifted the Jubilee Trophy with a convincing win on Sunday, becoming the first team from Newfoundland and Labrador to win a women’s national amateur soccer championship – and delivering the perfect send off for one of their players .
The St. John’s team finished the Jubilee Trophy tournament, held in Vaughan, Ont., with a 4-0 record, allowing just one goal in those four games.
In Sunday’s final, Holy Cross beat Ontario’s London Alliance FC 3-0 thanks to goals from Lauren Taylor, Malorie Harris and Connie Lewis.
Harris’s goal was the 34th of her Jubilee Trophy career, only bolstering her claim to the record she had set earlier in the tournament as the Jubilee Trophy’s top scorer since 2000.
“It warmed my heart”
The victory had added significance for Harris, who decided she would hang up her boots and retire at the end of this year’s tournament after a few frustrating losses in the past few years.
“It makes me emotional now that I’m talking about it,” she told CBC News just after her last game.
“I’ve been playing for 35 years and never had that opportunity, we always sort of got our butts back each time. It’s been a struggle, so to finally hang on to that [trophy]it warmed my heart because I got to do it with the girls I could do it with.… It was just an amazing feeling.”
Harris said the team is a close-knit group unlike any other she’s played with. She has played with Holy Cross since 2018, but 10 of Sunday’s winning squad also won national bronze medals in 2017.
“This group of girls, they’ve been friends forever, there’s no qualms…it’s just love and support,” Harris said.
“That’s what makes this team more important than the others, we really unite, we really unite.”
While playing at a high level, the Holy Cross team is made up of amateur athletes who incorporate high level football training into the rest of their lives.
When not in the field, Harris is a police officer with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and said she is lucky to have an understanding employer.
“I think a lot of people underestimate the amount of work involved,” she said.
“Yes, it’s kind of a fun league, but for girls who can’t get to the national championship [team] level, the first ranks, that’s it. It’s a lot of physical fitness, it’s a lot of mental game.”
But with Harris’ decision to retire, she walks away with national and provincial glory.
Her body is starting to hurt, she said, so she plans to take a full year off – but said she probably couldn’t stay away from the game forever.
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