In an all-Canada women’s soccer final in Quebec, played at PEPS on Sunday, the Carabins defeated Université Laval Rouge et Or 1-0 to win their second national title in their history.
• Also read: On to the grand finale!
• Also read: The Rouge et Or provide a surprise
Mégane Sauvé, the RSEQ player par excellence, served a deft pass to Justine Lalande, who scored the only goal of the game in the 75th minute.
The Rouge et Or tried everything in the last few minutes to push the game into overtime but the Blues persevered.
If the Rouge et Or won both duels in the regular season, the Carabins were best in the provincial and Canadian finals.
“It’s a great day for our program and we’re very happy,” said head coach Kevin McConnell. This win shows that we’re doing things right because we’re almost always there. After two losses in the regular season, this win is all the more significant. Thanks to Laval who put in a very good game but we managed to win when it mattered. The difference was believing in our abilities and the girls believed in that all along.”
Photo courtesy Red and Gold
Montreal has also won the Canadian Champion banner. This is the second title in their history after 2017 and a sixth national medal.
Long live the disappointment
In the opposing camp, David Desloges was visibly disappointed at the turn of events, but filled him with pride at the way his charges had fared.
“It’s not an insignificant season that we’ve just experienced,” said the Laval rider. This is the sixth medal in the history of the program, the first silver. We just had one of the best seasons and I will remember that.”
“I’m disappointed with the result and my thoughts are with our graduates but I’m proud to follow our course in the season and this week in the Championship, Desloges. Thanks to Montreal for being the best team today [dimanche]. We lived a dream scenario where we tried to win a national title at home but the magic didn’t work in the final, which doesn’t take my pride.
Mégane Sauvé, author of an assist in the final, also scored twice in the first two games, earning her the title of player of the tournament.
Player par excellence
“It’s a good end to my career and that of several players,” emphasized the player par excellence of the RSEQ. That was our goal from the start and we have not deviated from it. We had many obstacles. We got up every time and found solutions. We ran, we ran to our offices at 6 a.m. for this time. We wanted to be clear and be able to include it when the opportunity arose.
Sauvé also distributed the compliments after the game, cleverly on the decisive game.
“In order to be successful in attack, you need players behind you. Our guardian [joueuse par excellence en finale] made important saves and brought us to the final. And our defenders are exceptional. It’s not a goal to get individual awards, but I’m grateful and it feels good.”
A difficult silver medal to accept
Striker Léa-Jeanne Fortier didn’t want to miss the final in Canada for the world.
With a foot injury in the quarterfinals and a reserve in the semifinals, the quintessential rookie was back in the country as a starter for the ultimate meeting.
“We don’t often see a Canadian final and I wanted to help my team,” said Fortier. My game was not affected. My injury is no excuse for not scoring. It’s disappointing to lose and it’s hard to see the whole package but we had a wonderful season.”
Goalkeeper Myriam Labrecque, who was playing her last career game, found the loss difficult to digest.
“In theory, the silver medal is better than last year’s bronze medal, but it has a bitter aftertaste. I didn’t want to end my career like that.”
lack of opportunism
The Rouge et Or took a few chances but failed to capitalize.
“For a long time we had a problem with scoring chances when we were dominating and unfortunately the scenario repeated itself in the final,” she said. The little spark is missing for the ball to land in the net. The carabiners are very strong on the counter and took their chances. I rarely say that, but I’m very proud of the girls and how we played. I’ll tell them in the dressing room and thank them for getting me to the final.”
Kudos for Saved
Kevin McConnell was full of praise for his star player Mégane Sauvé.
“She’s a great player, as you can see very quickly, but like no other she’s even greater.”
Sauvé was touched by her coach’s words.
“It’s heartwarming,” she said. I have been working with Kevin and the staff for six years and they have always had 100% trust in me and have developed me a lot. Beyond what’s happening on the pitch, I’ve grown as a person and I thank them.
Sauvé also thought of the Carabins football team who lost the Dunsmore Cup in the last game of Saturday’s game at the same field.
“We watched the game, it was heartbreaking like defeat and we wanted to end the weekend in style.”