Team NT’s junior female futsal team took gold at the Arctic Winter Games on Saturday – two years after a dramatic victory over the same opponents at the last Games.
Coached by Tonya Huck, the NWT’s girls beat Greenland 4-2 in Hay River to win the junior title on home soil at Diamond Jenness Secondary School.
Seven of this year’s nine-player roster were in Huck’s team two years ago when the NWT beat Greenland in Nuuk, coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and take juvenile division gold.
This time, the junior girls led 2-1 at half time, extended that lead to 3-1 and – though Greenland pulled the score back to 3-2 with three minutes remaining – the NWT capped off the victory with a fourth goal seconds from the finish.
The NWT entered teams in all five of futsal’s divisions at the Arctic Winter Games. Futsal is an indoor variant of soccer played on a hardcourt surface, ideal for a territory where the summer season and outdoor facilities are limited.
The juvenile girls also won medals in Hay River, defeating Alaska 5-2 for bronze on Friday, but the juvenile boys were beaten 5-2 by Alberta North in their bronze-medal match.
The junior male team finished fifth in its five-team contest with one win from four games, while the intermediate girls finished third of the three teams entered, losing 8-0 to Sapmi in a play-off despite beating the same team 4-2 in round-robin play.
One gold and one bronze matches NWT Soccer’s haul from the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Greenland.