Go Rangers!

The Cochrane Rangers Open Div. 3 women's team has advanced to this weekend's provincial Div. 3 indoor senior championship of the Alberta Soccer Association.

In their first season of indoor play, the team had a 13-4-0 record to finish first in Div. 3 play of the Calgary Women's Soccer Association (CWSA). They'll be joined at provincials by the second place Force United, who had a 10-6-1 record.

The Rangers open their bid for the provincial championship against Lethbridge on Mar. 22 at 7 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 23 they play two Edmonton teams. On Mar. 24, the top two teams from each group qualify for the medal round.

Team manager Sarah Tas says their boarded indoor soccer season opened at the CWSA Kickstart tournament in October 2023. They began in Div. 4 but were promoted to Div. 3, leaving them the additional challenge of competing at a higher level.

"It was our team's first foray into the competitive indoor boarded game," she explains. "Some of our players hadn't ever played boarded indoor soccer before."

There are 21 athletes on the roster, ages 19 to 42. The majority of the players are 30-something-year-old professionals.

Following the tournament, eight evenly matched teams played tight games throughout the season in a double round-robin format, which seeded the teams from one to eight. From there, the top four teams advanced to the playoffs.

"The team was proving itself to be flexible, versatile as individuals and as a squad: players trying out new roles, sometimes out of their comfort zone, and team formation evolving from a 2-2-1 to a 2-1-2," says Tas. 

League leading-scorer Janine McCue netted 26 goals in 17 games. Rangers joining her on the leaderboard were Erika "Like Butter" Bates, Carlin Frimmel, Julia Cameron, Angela Coltea, Maddie Kaczur, and Aspen Kozak.

Eleven different Cochrane Rangers players provided 66 goals throughout the season and gave the Cochrane Rangers a 33 goal differential, the highest in open Div 3.

Keeper Sam Karman incurred injury in their first game of the season and converted herself into a defender and then a striker. She scored a howitzer of a game-winning goal in one match with 16 seconds remaining. Tas calls it a testament to her flexibility, versatility, and team-first mentality.

Stepping into netmind was Riyan Dillon-St. Pierre, who along with her defensive unit anchored by Kat Dennis and Jade Connor, earned the lowest goals-against performance in the division, allowing only 33.

"Our new goal is to finish in the top two of our group to qualify for the medal round, one game at a time, one half at a time, one play at a time."

The bond created between the players extended beyond the field.

"The culture of the Cochrane Rangers Open Div 3 is evolving into a supportive atmosphere where teammates encourage each other and find inspiration in each other on and off the pitch," says Tas. "There have been rafting trips, Oktoberfests, ski holidays, home-made dinners and bowling. We are a group from a variety of soccering backgrounds, all of whom have found soccer to be our common denominator."

"The team is excited to play in the provincials tourney this weekend and looking forward to the green grass of the outdoor season ahead," says Tas. "The team would like to thank Amanda Paffrath and the Cochrane Rangers Soccer Club board for their support."

Those interested in playing soccer this summer can visit here to register or email info@cochranerangers.com with questions. Competitive and Recreational programs are available.