BURNABY, BC – In their inaugural League1 BC season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite were crowned League1 BC Finals champions following a 2-1, come-from-behind win against Varsity FC at Swangard Stadium on Monday afternoon.
The match kicked off at a quick pace, as Varsity FC’s Jenna Baxter scored the opening goal in the first minute of the match. Following her solo effort inside the box, her strike found the back of the net to give her squad the early advantage.
The ‘Caps would respond with an opportunity created by Anna Hauer, as her long cross found Ashley Roberts inside the final third, but her strike was parried away by Varsity goalkeeper Dakota Beckett in the seventh minute.
As the Blue & White continued to put on the pressure, Jeneva Hernandez-Gray’s corner kick delivery in the 21st minute curled its way directly off the crossbar, narrowly scoring the equalizing goal.
The second half began with the young ‘Caps keeping up their hunt for opportunities on the offensive, as Mya Archibald’s strong, curling shot was parried away by goalkeeper Beckett in the 57th minute.
Moments later, Varsity’s Danielle Steer went on a run of her own, unleashing a shot that was then firmly held away by ‘Caps goalkeeper Leah Parsons to keep her side in the match.
The Blue & White's pressure would pay off near the end of the second half. Following a corner whipped in by Hernandez-Gray, the ball found its way to Iba Oching, who’s volleyed strike inside the box leveled the match in the 84th minute.
In the dying stages of the match, Hernandez-Gray’s powerful strike from 25 yards out flew into the top right corner of the net, as she gave the 'Caps the 2-1 lead in the 89th minute to secure the victory in dramatic fashion.
With the win, the 'Caps clinched the 2022 League1 BC Finals Women's Divisional Title, lifting the inaugural season trophy in front of the crowd at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.
Referee: Hannah Browning*
Gatorade Performance Award:* Jeneva Hernandez-Gray
1’ – VAR – Jenna Baxter
84’ – VAN – Iba Oching (Jeneva Hernandez-Gray)
89’ – VAN – Jeneva Hernandez-Gray
26.Dakota Beckett; 6.Anika Sangha (13.Ella Sunde HT), 21.Jacqueline Tyrer, 16.Caitlin Davie (20.Simi Lehal 59’), 4.Sophia Ferreira (25.Janika Sangha 60’); 3.Dakota Chan, 10.Sophie Damian (17.Sophia Kramer 78’), 14.Katelyn Erhardsen; 9.Danielle Steer, 19.Katalin Tolnai, 11.Jenna Baxter (7.Vanessa Tome 41’ (23.Nisa Reehal 87’))
Substitutes not used
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
22.Leah Parsons; 20.Iba Oching, 5.Clare Logan ©, 7.Nyema Ingleton; 18.Jaime Perrault, 21.Jeneva Hernandez-Gray, 13.Anna Hauer, 41.Madelyn Martin, 11.Noelle Sather (29.Mya Archibald HT); 27.Ashley Roberts (34.Ireolowu Omotayo 83’), 24.Sierra Bergen (19.Joy Kimwemwe 68’)
Substitutes not used
30.Calais Butts, 12.Sonya Mehta, 16.Sienna Gibson, 17.Emma Yee, 39.Tea Mayson