A header and a collision between Elgin Park Secondary grad Danielle Steer and the opposing goalkeeper led the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds’ women’s soccer team claiming a national title Sunday in Victoria.
With the game between UBC and the Calgary Dinos scoreless in the 80th minute of action, Steer went up for a header in the Calgary goal crease – hoping to redirect a shot from T-Birds teammate Natasha Klasios – and inadvertently bumped Dino goalkeeper Lauren Houghton, while also making contact with the ball. With Houghton pushed back slightly into the net, she wasn’t able to stop the ball from bouncing across the goal line to give UBC a 1-0 lead, which proved to be enough to earn the victory.
— U SPORTS Soccer (@USPORTS_Soccer) November 11, 2019
“I saw the ball coming in deep and knew from what we worked on in practice to go to the penalty spot,” said Steer in a U Sports news release.
“I saw the ball coming and knew I needed to get something on it. I put everything in my body to get a touch on it. I got a bit of my head on it and when I saw it roll in, it was the best feeling I’ve ever had.”
The U Sports championship was the seventh in school history for UBC. Sunday’s title game was also a rematch of the Canada West conference final, which Calgary won, also by a 1-0 score.
“From last time (when) we played in the Canada West final, we knew it was going to be a physical match. They beat us so we had a chip on our shoulder,” Steer said.
“We knew it was going to be a close game but we felt like we had more in our legs late in the game.”
Steer was named the championship game’s most valuable player, and on Wednesday was named one of Canada West’s first stars of the week.
Aside from Steer, UBC’s squad is chalk full of local connections. Another Elgin Park graduate, Alyssa Hunt, is also on the roster, as is Semiahmoo Secondary alum Jessica Williams, Emily Birarda – a South Delta Secondary grad who played at South Surrey-based Coastal FC – Fleetwood Park Secondary grad and Surrey United’s Liesanne Musico and Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary’s Vanessa Tome.
A trio of other Surrey United players are also members of team – Jacqueline Tyrer, Sabrina Anderson and Emma Peckinpaugh. UBC assistant coach Nicole Setterlund is also a Semiahmoo Secondary grad and former soccer star herself, but retired due to concussion issues and turned to coaching.
Three Coastal FC players were among players on the runner-up Calgary side – Sydney Tait, Courtney Doubleday and Breanne Gallagher.
Prior to Sunday’s championship, UBC defeated the Acadia Axewomen 1-0 in semifinals on Saturday afternoon. Steer had the lone goal in that game as well, firing home a rebound from a Klasios shot in the game’s 77th minute.