Members of the Holy Cross Kirby Group team celebrate their Challenge Cup championship soccer win at King George V Park Sunday afternoon.
©Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Holy Cross Kirby Group won its third Molson Challenge Cup provincial men’s soccer title in four years Sunday, defeating the defending champion St. Lawrence Laurentians 3-1 at King George V Park in St. John’s.
The result means the Crusaders will represent the province in the national Challenge Cup tournament in Surrey, B.C., early next month.
The Labatt Laurentians, who finished first in the regular season, had defeated Holy Cross 2-0 Friday in the 1-2 game that opened the Page playoffs. That sent St. Lawrence directly to Sunday’s final, while Holy Cross had to cash in its second life in taking on Mount Pearl in a Saturday semifinal.
The Crusaders won that game 2-0, setting up a rematch with the Laurentians, who opened the scoring on a goal by Jordan Caines about midway through the first half of Sunday’s final. However, Holy Cross responded quickly, drawing even on Andrew Stanford's tally just a minute later. And before the half was over, the Crusaders were in front when a deflection resulted in a St. Lawrence own goal.
Holy Cross had the lone tally in the second half, delivered by Tyler Kirby with about eight minutes remaining in regulation.
Crusaders' defender Alex Pretty was named the playoff MVP.
Holy Cross had also won provincial Challenge Cups in 2014 and 2015 by defeating the Laurentians in championship games. St. Lawrence took the title last year by defeating Mount Pearl in the final.