It might have been a full year ago, but the taste of their loss to the Central Cyclones in the 2018 title game still carried a sting into this year’s championship on Thursday afternoon. And while the Peacock Tornadoes might have been their opponent this time around, Swift Current wanted nothing to do with another tough season-ruining loss.
Dilan Vargas and Carter Munroe scored first-half goals and Khalil Fakhar added a late insurance marker as the Colts took a 3-1 victory in the gold medal game at Canada Games Field.
“We kind of just worked on things and built things from last year, when we unfortunately lost in the final,” explained Vargas, a Grade 11 veteran of last season’s squad. “We didn’t have our best game that day, and this year we wanted to come back and show what we have.”
“We definitely had an entirely different mentality going into this game opposed to last year,” added graduating senior Jaedyn Carefoot. “(Last year) It was overconfidence and no one really came prepared for the game, so this year we made sure we were ready and focussed.”
As it turned out, the Colts would need that and then some to get past an exceptionally game Tornadoes side. Despite entering the season with a ton of youth in their line-up, Peacock saw steady and continuous improvement on their way to reaching the final.
Getu Sehlemariam scored the Tornadoes’ lone goal late in the first half, pouncing on a penalty kick off the crossbar and slipping a shot past goaltender Ethan Arnold.
That tough break would be the only time Arnold would allow a goal, as he would also stop a penalty kick in the second half to hold the Colts’ lead.
Seeing his troops reach the gold medal game was heartening for Peacock coach Jordan Jeffery even if the final result wasn’t what they hoped for.
“This was the target this season, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with how we played when we reached the target,” Jeffery said. “Swift Current was out to win that game and we didn’t show up to the game like we needed to… but even despite the poor performance, I felt we had an even amount of chances between us and Swift, but credit to their players and coaches, they came here with a gameplan that they executed to perfection.
“That’s a well-established team, and that’s the challenge over the next year or two, try and topple them and bring a banner back to Peacock for the boys program.”
The Tornadoes development since the beginning of the season is a major reason for that optimism,
“We’re disappointed with the results today, but we’ve made some strong progress, we have kids who are coming to Peacock for the soccer program,” Jeffery said. “So we’ve built and built and it’s doable, we now have the athletes who can play and perform and do what we’re hoping to do. Now hopefully we can get back here next year and go one better.”