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30 November 2019 | in University World Cup Football

Ottawa, Paulista sweep individual awards

JINJIANG, People’s Republic of China – As confetti rained down in the Jinjiang Football Park Stadium on the penultimate day of the KELME 2019 FISU University World Cup - Football and the triumphant women’s team from University of Ottawa celebrated with the trophy, there was a silver lining for the Brazilians who finished runners-up.


Mylena Pedroso of Paulista University in actionTwo out of the four individual awards that were conferred tonight were won by athletes from Paulista University who had also been unstoppable throughout the tournament, until they ran into the Canadians in the final.


In the race for top scorer of the tournament, there was virtually no competition for Paulista’s No.9 Mylena Pedroso whose tournament tally stood at nine goals. Even though she didn’t score a goal in the final that they lost 0-1, she said she had much to be thankful for.


“I am really very happy to be the top scorer of this tournament,” Pedroso said holding onto her individual trophy. “When we came here, I couldn’t imagine that I would end up being the best scorer. I thank my whole team because they are the ones that helped me get there.”


Pedroso’s teammate and Paulista goalkeeper was also untouchable through the two weeks, except in the final. The one goal scored by Ottawa right at the start of the final match was what prevented Fernanda Laís Delazere from having a totally clean sheet. Coming into the final she had not conceded a single goal and it was no surprise that she won the award for best goalkeeper.


“I hadn’t expected to win this trophy,” said a visibly wistful Delazere after the presentation of her trophy. “I am disappointed that we didn’t win the tournament, but football is like that. I am happy with the individual trophy.”


“I trained all year for this competition,” she added. “Unfortunately, we lost the final but the whole tournament was a great experience. I hadn’t felt as much pressure in the goal as I did today, in the final game.”


Most surprised of all those receiving individual awards though was Ottawa’s No.6 Trinity Jazya Alma Esprit who’s speed and resilience in defence meant that there was often an invisible wall protecting the Canadian goal. Esprit was named player of the tournament.


“I was so surprised!” Esprit revealed later. “They pulled me off to the side during the presentation ceremony and told me that I would be going on stage. I was so confused – I was wondering where am I going?”


“It’s really such an honour,” she added. “To be a first-year university player and come here to the first every University World Cup and win this award, it’s amazing.”


The Fair Play award also went to University of Ottawa.