A full slated week for the UKC women, who entered the final three matches of the season with only eight points and a full two places below the playoff line. Knowing any single mistake in their final three matches would spell doom for the postseason, the Blue Devils entered the gauntlet undeterred, beginning their run Thursday evening in Truro against Dal AC.
Finding a new gear altogether, the Blue Devils systematically dissected there, with winger Faye Little recording a hat-trick before half time to enter the break with 3-0 lead. Anna Dugandazic would chip in an extra two goals off the bench in the second half, before stalwart center back, Adrianne Proudfoot rounded out the scoring with a late second half goal from outside the box to secure a 6-0 routing of the Rams on the road.
The Blue Devils would next set their sights on playoff rivals, St. Thomas, with whom they’d lost to on the road in the previous game week. A nail-biter home match for all in attendance, King’s wavered throughout the match, nearly conceding twice, with St. Thomas once rattling the post and a second attempt that beat keeper Rebecca Florean, only to be cleared off the line by Trinity Adams. A late goal in the 77th minute by the UKC wonder-winger, Faye Little, secured the points for the Blue Devils yet again; as she slotted the ball past the STU keeper.
With six points earned from two matches, the UKC women entered their final match against UNBSJ a singular point away from fourth place St. Thomas and a seat on the train to the post season. The match highlighted the offensive potential of the King’s side; with the UKC women overwhelming their opponents in the midfield and attacking third. Despite unloading on the Seawolves goal with a whomping 15 shots, and hitting the woodwork twice, the Blue Devils were ultimately unable to register a goal, taking just the one point from a draw. Later in the afternoon St. Thomas would also draw in Halifax, across town playing MSVU, to move a point ahead of the Blue Devils and cinch the final playoff spot.
The UKC women will say goodbye to three marquee seniors this season: Sophie Shepherd (striker), Ally Brien (centre back) and Rebecca Dupuis (centre mid), all of whom will graduate in the spring time. Despite these departures, the Blue Devils will retain the vast majority of their starters; with a strong rising seniors ready to take up the leadership mantle.
@Dal AC 6-0 Win
vs. STU 1-0 Win
vs. UNBSJ 0-0 Draw
A bit more drama that head coach Jamie McGinnis may have bargained for, the UKC men completed their season third in the league and slated to square off at playoffs against Holland College.
The final stretch to playoffs wasn’t as smooth as many would have liked. A 0-1 loss on the road to Dal AC in the midweek stirred the playoff pot and opened the door for playoff dark horse, MSVU, to make a late surge for the third seed. A loss at home to STU on Saturday compounded the issue, with MSVU taking three points in their match against UNBSJ to leapfrog the Blue Devils into third. It was only after a polished performance on Sunday afternoon the Kingsmen could heave a sigh of relief, after cruising to a 4-1 win over the visiting Seawolves, to reclaim the third position after an MSVU loss against St. Thomas.
The Sunday win will represent an important springboard for the UKC men as they head into the post season. Having not won their previous five matches, the Blue Devils found their stride, with Liam McCara, Gareth MacKinnon, DeAndre Paris and Darien Slawter all finding the back of the net: the first for Paris and Slawter in the King’s colours. Blessed with depth and options across the entire lineup, the Kingsmen are primed for their first playoff run since the 2018-19 season. Their semi-final opponent will be the Holland College Hurricanes, with whom they have lost 0-2 and drawn 1-1 earlier in the season. That match will be scheduled for Saturday, October 30th, with the kickoff time forthcoming. The match will also be streamed on acaa.tv.
The UKC men also took a moment post match to recognize the honour their lone graduating senior, Matt Hines, who will be graduating in the spring time. Hines has been a crucial cog in the Blue Devils engine room this season, playing in centre midfield and involved in the set piece rotation.
@Dal AC 0-1 Loss
vs. STU 0-2 Loss
vs. UNBSJ 4-1 Win
Semi-Final vs. Holland, October 29th.