The Frances Kelsey Breakers represented the Island at the AA girls soccer provincials earlier this month. (Submitted)

Young Kelsey team ‘in the mix’ at AA soccer provincials

Breakers not outclassed at championship tournament

A top-eight finish at the provincial AA championships may have been a little over-ambitious, Frances Kelsey girls soccer coach Brian Johnston admitted, but the young team laid the groundwork for some future success at the tournament that wrapped up on June 1 in Campbell River.

The Breakers wound up in 15th place at the AA provincials, but with the exception of their first game, they were competitive in every contest. As well, Johnston noted, Brooks Secondary, who didn’t initially qualify through the Island tournament, and who Kelsey beat during the season, was awarded a last-minute berth when another team backed out, and finished seventh.

“It wouldn’t have been impossible [to make the top eight],” he said. “We’re probably a little bit young, mostly Grade 9s and 10s, and the size and strength made a difference.”

“We were in the mix. We were a little younger than average, and it made a bit of a difference. It was a great experience. We were never really out of any game except for the first game.”

The Breakers lost their first two matches on May 30 4-0 to South Kamloops and 3-0 to Collingwood. Collingwood, Johnston said, had probably the best individual player in the whole tournament, and she scored early in the game before being shut down by Niki Leech. The game remained close until Leech was injured with 10 minutes left, and the player she had been shadowing buried two quick goals.

The following day, Kelsey played another close game against Holy Cross, deadlocked at 1-1 until the Crusaders scored the winning goal with a minute left. The Breakers’ best player on the day, according to Johnston, was diminutive Grade 8 Cade Smith.

“She hadn’t played much at all in the first two games,” he explained. “So we brought her on for some fresh legs. She controlled the tempo and we outplayed them in the second half.”

Smith set up Kelsey’s lone goal, with a through ball that Robin De Valk Zaiss redirected into the net.

“We had a lot of the play in the second half, enough to win the game,” Johnston said. “It was our best performance, for sure.”

On Friday afternoon, Kelsey opened the playoffs with a 3-1 loss to Pitt Meadows, another game that could have gone either way. Aisha Werner scored the Breakers’ goal.

“We outplayed them tactically, but size and strength was the difference,” Johnston assessed.

The Breakers closed out the tournament with a 4-2 win over L.V. Rogers in the 15th-place game. Rogers scored first, then Werner tied it up but the Nelson school went ahead again a minute later. Taya Brubacher came on in the second half and scored two goals 10 minutes apart, both on great individual efforts, and Werner added her second of the game with five minutes left.

Celia Burdet was named to the Commissioner’s 16, which Johnston felt was well-deserved.

“She played every minute of every game — she was the only one — and she still seemed to have as much legs at the end of the fifth game as at the start of the first,” the coach said.

Kelsey captain Jizelle Balae also came up big for Kelsey, filling in at goalie for the balance of the tournament after Rowan Parker aggravated an old injury. Balae is one of five players the Breakers will lose to graduation this year, along with Parker, De Valk Zaiss, Ricki-Anne Keen and Aidan Matheson.

Just Posted

Play revolves around teenagers in thought-provoking dialect

Chemainus Theatre’s I & You focuses on the development of an unlikely friendship

Duncan Swin Team makes history at junior nationals

In the history of the Duncan Swim Team, fewer than 30 swimmers… Continue reading

Talking about dementia is different when your own family is involved

Wilkinson shares a special story about his own father

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Most Read