Brentwood’s Ifanyi Ayadiuno takes the ball up the wing during a home game earlier this season. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Brentwood books ticket to provincial soccer tournament

Team has as good a chance as anyone at next week’s championship, coach says

Brentwood College School will play for a senior boys soccer AA provincial title next week after placing third at the Island championships last week.

With four berths available to Island teams this year, Brentwood locked up a spot at provincials by placing second in their round-robin group, then capped it all off with a 2-0 win over Brooks in the bronze-medal match.

“Our long bench helped in that match,” said Brentwood head coach Wes Barrett, whose deep squad has outlasted shorthanded opponents before. “Brooks had a lot of injuries.”

Teams played three games in the round-robin portion of the tournament. Brentwood opened with a 3-0 win over Mark R. Isfeld, then lost to Carihi 2-1, and finally beat Stelly’s 1-0.

The game against Carihi was the most exciting of the three, Bennett reported. Carihi went up 1-0 midway through the first half, and Brentwood mounted a full push to tie the score in the second half. Jack Napier-Ganley scored for Brentwood with around 10 minutes left, only to see Carihi nail the winner about three minutes after that.

Carihi went on to defeat host St. Michaels University School in a shootout in the tournament final.

Brentwood will leave Sunday for the provincial tournament in Burnaby on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Barrett believes his team is a contender for the title.

“I think we have as good a shot as anyone,” he said. “It will be tough for sure. We don’t know a lot about the other teams going into it, other than from past provincial tournaments. We’re trying to find stuff out about them, but you figure stuff out as you go.”

The team will get some reinforcements next week as well.

“We were pretty light-bodied at Islands,” Barrett commented. We had four or five key players out for Islands, but we’ll have almost the full squad back [for provincials].”

This will be Brentwood’s fourth-straight appearance at the provincial AA tournament, so several players have experience at the top level. The 16 teams are divided into four groups of four, with one from each group advancing to the semifinals. Brentwood’s group includes Hugh McRoberts (Richmond), Alpha (Burnaby) and Caledonia (Terrace).

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