The University of King’s College men’s soccer team lost the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) finals to Holland College’s Hurricanes on October 28 and, with it, the chance to play nationals in New Westminster, B.C.
Just the day before, the team had a lot of reason to celebrate: they had just beat the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics in a double-overtime game that ended with a shoot-out.
“We’re going to win,” said Justin Pyne, the Blue Devils’ goalkeeper, after the semi-final game. “I’m going to deliver – everyone’s going to deliver. You’re going to see us go to B.C.”
However, ACAA Championships were not over yet. The Blue Devils had to face the Holland Hurricanes and win in order to qualify for nationals.
The Hurricanes were not an easy team to play. They came into the weekend’s championships with an undefeated regular season and were ranked first place, while the Blue Devils were ranked third.
The Blue Devils were defeated 2-0.
“A couple of the boys are a little distraught,” said the Blue Devils’ assistant coach, Chris Etmanskie.
“It was still our game. It was our game ’til the end.”
– Matt Cousens, Blue Devils player
Considering the close game the day before and that the Hurricanes scored their first goal in the first minute of the game, the Blue Devils were rightly disappointed.
“A lot of the seniors are on the team this year, so there’s a lot of guys who were there last year when they lost in the finals, and then again this year to the same team,” Etmanskie said.
After the game, Blue Devils forward Brendan Parsley said he had “mixed emotions” since it is his last year and last game with the team.
“We were really tired from yesterday,” said Parsley. “We played 120 minutes and then a shoot-out, so it fucks with your head – I mean, it’s emotionally draining.”
“I felt that if we got the first goal it would’ve been really good. I thought the first goal was going to win the game, so after 30 seconds it was not a good feeling, but I still thought there was a lot of time in the game for us to come back.”
At half time the Hurricanes had just scored their second goal – what would be the last goal of the game.
As goalkeeper, Pyne was visibly upset and yanked the net, moving it slightly out of place.
From the stands, Donna Pyne, his mother, said, “I think it’s the psychology of the first goal… you take it to heart when you’re goalkeeper, that you should keep it out. It’s not just you though. The second one he had it, then dropped it, so he’ll blame himself for that.”
When asked if he could comment after the game, Justin Pyne said, “Not today, sorry.”
As she followed her son out of the Soccer Nova Scotia building, Donna Pyne said, “You win some, you lose some, you know?”