PHOTO GALLERY AND STORY: Women’s Prince Rupert Football Club scores a hat trick of championships

PRFC women won their third tournament in a row at the Haisla Annual Soccer Tournament 2019 in Kitimat. (Gerry Leibel)

The women’s Prince Rupert Football Club (PRFC) is taking numbers across the Northwest after securing their third straight championship this weekend in Kitimat.

The Haisla Annual Soccer Tournament kicked off on Friday, July 5 where men’s and women’s teams from all over the Northwest competed in the tournament.

PRFC won their title through a backdoor win. After dropping down to the losing pool, they came back and found themselves facing off with the Terrace Providers in the finals.

“It was a nice win for sure. It was a really well played game and good sportsmanship, we like playing Terrace,” said goalie Jessica Lindstrom who has been playing with the team for two seasons.

PRFC’s men also competed in the tournament and finished in a solid third place out of seven teams.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert’s women’s Football Club headed to finals seeking their third ever tournament victory

READ MORE: Prince Rupert’s men’s Football Club finishes third in Kitimat soccer tournament despite missing players

The first half of the women’s final started off with three goals. Captain and midfielder Brittane O’Connor scored two goals and forward Tyla Malcolm scored another.

Starting the half down by two, the Providers had a glimpse of hope following a second goal, but Lindstrom and the defence managed to hold them off, earning a 3-2 victory.

This is the third straight tournament win in a row for the PRFC women. In May they saw their first victory in Kitwanga after dominating their undefeated Wildcats on their home turf.

“Last year was our first year as a team and we came in third all year. It’s kind of nice to be at the top,” said Lindstrom.

READ MORE: Women’s Prince Rupert Football Club win first tournament ever

Their second win came during Seafest weekend. The team played the Providers and the Wildcats, as well as three other teams from the Northwest who came down for the competition. PRFC went undefeated on their home turf to claim their spot as the Seafest 2019 women’s soccer champions.

Nathan Rochon has been the PRFC women’s coach since their inception two years ago.

“I think he’s got a lot of good constructive criticism and he pushes us to work hard and try our hardest. He makes us work proud,” said Lindstrom.

While Rochon is to credit for the coaching, O’Connor is to credit for putting the team together.

Lindstrom said in her nine years living in Prince Rupert she has never seen a women-only soccer team until O’Connor took the initiative to put a group together. The initial team was made up of women who were invited to play against the CHSS girls senior soccer team after the high-schoolers were looking for local competition to practice against as they prepared for zones in the spring.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert’s women’s soccer team is bringing the female game back

Awards were also distributed after the championship game in Kitimat.

Lindstorm won for Best Goalie. During the weekend she let in no goals during regular time, her only goals allowed coming during the overtime shootouts.

O’Connor was honoured as MVP, while Malcolm along with midfielder Mel Wood each took home an All-Star award.

After a jam-packed weekend of games the team will be celebrating with a nice quiet dinner in Terrace, said Lindstrom.

Lindstrom also said that everyone on the team plans to come back and play another strong season next year. A couple of the women will be going away for university but will be back before the new campaign kicks off.

READ MORE: Soccer action all weekend long: Seven men’s and six women’s teams play in Kitimat

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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