Two KEYSA Rovers girls soccer teams recently returned from provincials without a podium finish, however, both are satisfied with their results after competing against the best the province has to offer.
Hosted by North Vancouver, the U13 squad—heading to their first-ever provincial tournament—came out with a respectable sixth place finish, while the U19 girls ended the event placing seventh.
The U13 team had a record of one win and three losses in four games, however, it was a lot closer than it appeared on paper, according to Shaune Hunt, who helped coach the team.
“We played okay,” said Hunt. “We lost a couple tough ones against some coastal teams, but we played well.”
“…A couple losses were close. In the 5/6 playoff, we lost to North Shore Vipers 1-0, but it was a very close game, it wasn’t decided till late in the game, so it was really good.”
Other losses came against the Chilliwack Attack at a score of 5-0 and the Marpole Phoenix at 4-0. The Rovers notched their only win with a 2-1 decision over the Quesnel Strikers in their second game of the tournament.
Outside of the tournament, the team went to a Vancouver Whitecaps game, which ended with a 2-0 win over the visiting Seattle Sounders.
“… One of the quotes I heard over there, was that it was amazing that we actually compete, and I think we did compete,” added Hunt. “It’s good for the girls, they had a good time, and it was neat for us [coaches], too.”
The U18 team, which is made up of Cranbrook and Kimberley high school soccer players, had the same record as their U13 counterparts, with a win and three losses.
The U18 Rovers, which hadn’t had a lot of matches to tune up before the tournament, had to adjust things on the fly, according to Jake Walmsley, who helped coach the squad alongside Pete Campbell.
“Our season is really short, so the first two games, we were learning as we were playing, but we never got blown out,” said Walmsley.
The girls lost their opening three matches to Saanich Fusion FC at 6-3, Prince George at 2-0 and PMO Nitro at 1-0.
The Rovers then found their game and took it to their hosts, beating the North Shore Adrenaline 5-2 to finish on a high note.