Griffins players factor prominently into double provincial championship weekend for Northwest United

Several Griffins players and alumni, under coach Dean Cordeiro, led Northwest United to the Alberta Major Soccer League championship on Monday.
Several Griffins players and alumni, under coach Dean Cordeiro, led Northwest United to the Alberta Major Soccer League championship on Monday.

Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Several members of the Griffins women's soccer team are riding on a championship wave just days before the Canada West season begins.

Both of Griffins head coach Dean Cordeiro's club teams in the Northwest United program raised provincial championship trophies over the weekend.

Eight current Griffins (and several alumni) helped Northwest United capture the Alberta Major Women's Soccer League title on Monday in Calgary, defeating perennial rival Edmonton Victoria 1-0.

A day earlier, the Northwest United Premier team – mostly comprised of current Griffins players – also won a provincial championship at that level after beating Calgary Villains FC 6-0 in Edmonton.

"The program that a lot of our girls play in is in a good spot," said Cordeiro who drove back and forth between Alberta's largest cities all weekend. "It was an amazing weekend for our Griffins players."

In the AMSL final game, Griffins striker Raeghan McCarthy scored the winning goal in the 80th minute and goalkeeper Emily Burns earned the clean sheet.

The win came a day after the Griffins defeated a tough Calgary Blizzard squad, coached by former MacEwan assistant Diogo Raposo, in the semifinal. Current Griffins Shanice Alfred, Sofia DiGiacomo, Rachel Cooper and Abbey Wright, along with future Griffins Grace Mwasalla and Nicole Noble, play for that squad. Griffins striker Sunder West played for Lethbridge FC in the provincial tournament as well.

With their second provincial title in the past four years, Northwest United has earned the right to compete for the Jubilee Trophy at the Canadian Soccer Association club nationals in St. John's, Nfld. Oct. 9-14.

"It's a good problem to have because we have (Canada West) games that weekend that we'll have to figure out, but I'm pumped for the girls to step up at this level," said Cordeiro.

Cordeiro's Premier League squad completed an undefeated season in claiming their second-straight provincial championship and fourth in the past six years. Fourteen members of the team play for the Griffins, including Anna McPhee, who was named the Golden Boot winner as the weekend's top scorer.

Dean Cordeiro's Northwest United Premier League squad, comprised mostly of Griffins players, captured a provincial title in Edmonton on Sunday.

"I think the most impressive thing from the weekend is we had five games and we didn't concede a goal amongst both teams," noted Cordeiro, adding that Breanna Truscott got the clean sheet in the Premier League team's decisive win over the Villains.

The championship victories have the Griffins riding a high heading into their Canada West home opener on Saturday as Mount Royal University visits (12 p.m., Clareview Field). They'll also host Lethbridge on Sunday (12 p.m., Clarke Stadium).

"I think it really sets us up for success," said Cordeiro. "It does give us an upper hand as we go into the season because our girls are trending upward and are in really good form at the start of the season."