A season removed from finishing in last place, St-Laurent claimed the U15F A championship with a 2-1 win against the Pierrefonds Cobras in their playoff final on the Dollard 2 turf pitch Saturday.
“We were a last-place team last year, and for us to win the cup this year is really bittersweet,” St-Laurent coach Mauro Parravano said. “That’s just amazing. For us to have the opportunity to win the cup is going to be a lifetime remembrance.”
Batta Bah scored both goals for St-Laurent, which advanced to the final with a 3-1 semi-final win against Ile Bizard on Sept. 10. Bah completed her brace to make it 2-0 early in the second half after she scored seven minutes into the game.
“That gave them the boost of confidence they needed, and the second goal right away just after the half,” Parravano said.
St-Laurent was on the verge of extending its lead to three when Pierrefonds goalkeeper Sandra Shatawy Habib came up with a huge save on Bianca Di Maria, who drove in with an extra attacker.
“If that ball had gone in I don’t think we would have had the hope to make it like we did at the end of the game,” said Cobras goal scorer Taida An.
Pierrefonds coach Roland Younes praised the play of his backup goalkeeper, who started because the Cobras’ regular goalkeeper was serving a suspension.
“She did a great job,” he said. “She made two huge saves, and that one gave us momentum. It changed the game. After that, we were always on their side.”
The pressure paid off for Pierrefonds when An broke in and scored late in the second half to cut the lead to 2-1.
“I saw the ball coming toward me and I just thought, ‘we don’t have much time left, I should just go for it,’” An said. “Then I took and the ball went between the defender’s legs, and I saw a spot in the bottom corner and I just aimed and put it in.”
While Pierrefonds pressed for the tying goal, St-Laurent made some adjustments for the nervy final minutes and managed to resist the Cobras’ desperate final attacks.
“I’ll be honest, my heart was pounding, the intensity picked up,” Parravano said. “But I’m really proud of the girls, they really pulled in for the last few minutes there. We actually made some position changes and we managed to hold it off. They played really well.”