The easiest thing the Manitoba Soccer Association had to do yesterday was pick the MVP in the girls under-18 MSA Cup championship game.
Sarah Penner, a 16-year-old striker with South End United, scored four goals in leading her team to a 5-1 win over the defending champion Northern Lights Hurricanes yesterday.
"I worked really hard and just tried my best. Everything I seemed to hit was in the net. Whatever works I guess," said Penner, a Vincent Massey Collegiate student. "It was just one of those days I guess."
Penner scored three goals to open the first half, then added a fourth on a penalty shot after she was taken down in the box in the second half.
"She's our number one goal scorer. When she plays like that you can expect that," said South End coach Judy Pirnie.
South End's win was one of three MSA Cup final games yesterday.
In the senior women's game, 2003 champion Sweat Shack needed penalty shots to beat Classics, after the two teams had played to a scoreless draw despite 30 minutes of extra time.
Rose Bohemier, a Sweat Shack midfielder who is also a member of the Manitoba Bisons varsity women's soccer team, scored the winning goal to give her team a 5-4 edge in penalties.
Classics had been looking for their first provincial crown since 2001--the last of six straight for the team formerly known as Flames.
Sweat Shack will now go on to represent Manitoba at the Canadian senior women's club championships, being held Oct. 5-10 in Calgary.
South End United will represent the province at the under-18 nationals in Sydney, NS, on those same dates.
Manitoba's under-16 national hopes will be carried by the Bonivital Flames, who successfully defended their provincial title yesterday with a convincing 4-1 win over South End Ajax.
The Flames, who haven't lost yet this regular season, controlled almost the entire game yesterday, and with their speed, precision passing and quality long shooting, they looked every bit like a team that could challenge for the national crown when they head to Mount Pearl, NL, Oct. 5-10.
"Hopefully we medal, we definitely could have medalled last year," said coach Maurice Hudson, noting the Flames lost to B.C. in the bronze medal game last year. "We've definitely got a shot. There's a lot of talk about us across the country."
This year's team is more or less intact from last year's with only a few changes, said Hudson.
But the Flames will be headed to the under-18 division next year.
"We should have a fairly strong team there as well," said Hudson.