WINNIPEG, MB: Sydney Kennedy was exhausted, but she knew she had to do whatever she could to catch up to the play in front of her to give her team a chance to score.
The Fletcher’s Lake product took a deep breath and put all the energy she had into “busting her butt” to catch up to her Team Nova Scotia women’s soccer teammate up the field.
“I sucked back the wind, I ran my heart out to catch up with the play,” Kennedy told The Laker shortly after the game ended. “The ball got sent across their defender, I took a touch and let the goalie bite a little bit and picked the spot, and put it in the back of the net.”
That goal early in the second half—with about 25 or 30 minutes to play—turned out to be the eventual game winner as NS edged Alberta 1-0 to grab Canada Games women’s soccer bronze in Winnipeg, MB. on Aug. 3. It’s Nova Scotia’s first medal in women’s soccer since 1993.
“The legs were burning, both teams were struggling for sure,” she said. “It was the fifth game in six days. You could definitely see we were tired and trying to keep it out of our end until the final whistle.”
When the referee blew that whistle signalling the end of the game, Kennedy said she just dropped to the ground on her back. That’s when her screaming and excited teammates mobbed her, celebrating the victory thanks to her goal—her fourth of the tournament.
“My legs just couldn’t do it anymore,” the former Georges P. Vanier student said. “I hugged everyone. It was pretty exciting.”
She said how the players recovered off the field given the gruelling schedule was key to the team’s success.
“Getting the right amount of sleep, eating right, and staying hydrated,” she said, “but there is only so much you can do to save your legs with that type of intensity so often in such a short period of time.”
Green scored twice on penalty kicks during the tournament. She said it’s amazing to be coming home with bronze.
“It was pretty amazing to come out with a medal because that’s exactly the mindset we came here with,” she said by phone.
She said the tournament was a great opportunity, and she played a fair amount.
“I thought I put in what I needed to for the team,” she said. “It was just a fantastic opportunity.”
What does it mean to be bringing home bronze?
“It means the world. I’m so excited,” Green said. “It’ll be great to show it to people and the little ones coming up, and the whole province, and letting them know we might be small, but we are talented and we can do it.”
Green and her teammates were nervously excited through the five minutes of added time.
“I was on my feet,” she said. “I was in shock really. It really couldn’t get any closer.”
Kennedy said it might not be gold, but bronze is just as sweet given how the team was looked upon going in to the tournament.
“We heard a lot of things that the heavyweight provinces were going to show what they have,” Kennedy said. “I think our team just stayed confident throughout the tournament.
“The fact we were able to come away with the bronze is special, especially where we were underdogs.”