STRATFORD – It was a season to remember for the West Prince Storm.
The Storm capped a perfect 2018 with a dramatic come-from-behind overtime win in the championship game of the Subway P.E.I. Under-18 Girls Soccer League (First Division) on Saturday.
“It’s a pretty special season to go 16-0 (won-lost),” said a proud Storm head coach, Brian Allain. “I’ve been doing this for 27, 28 years, and an undefeated season is not an occurrence that happens very often.”
The Storm posted a 10-0 record in regular-season league play, went 4-0 in winning the Central Queens tournament and was 2-0 in the playoffs, including a 3-0 semifinal win over the Summerside United on Aug. 22.
The Storm roster also featured three under-age players – Jill Harper, Gracie Ramsay and Alyx Shea – due to no under-15 team.
“Those three kids moved up, and we had about 20 players overall,” added Allain.
The Storm’s journey to the provincial championship was not without adversity. In the final, played at the Stratford Soccer Complex, the Storm watched a 2-0 lead turn into a 3-2 deficit late in the second half. However, a goal with three minutes remaining by Janelle Perry pulled the Storm even 3-3, and sent the game to overtime.
The Storm dominated the extra period as Stephanie Arsenault scored twice, and Perry added her second goal of the game to send the Storm to a 6-3 title-clinching victory over the Sherwood-Parkdale Rangers.
“I knew it was going to be a battle,” said Allain. “The last time we played them they were beating us early in the game, and we had to come back late and score a goals to win. They had their full squad there and I knew it was going to be a battle, championship games always are.
“The kids showed a lot of heart when that momentum swung and they all of a sudden went from being up 2-0 to down 3-2. Not a lot of teams can recover from that, but for them to come back and get that goal to tie it and really carry it into overtime, it shows quite a bit on their part.”
After being asked to describe this year’s team, Allain paused for a minute and responded: “I liked their attitude. There was no drama. They came to practice, we had fun; they came to games, we had fun.
“If we weren’t playing well and I had to step it up and say a few things, they went out and applied it. They know how to listen and adjust accordingly.
“They play hard, but at the same time they play fair. I don’t think we have a team anybody would characterize as dirty to play against. . . They were a fun group of kids to coach, we had a lot of laughs and there are some personalities on the team.”