Athletics Review: October 5, 2008

Senior Girls Volleyball
Last Tuesday night, Esquimalt hosted SMUS for the first round of Senior Girls Volleyball league play. Our first game was against AAA Stelly’s and despite the strong passing and consistent serving we lost in the third set 14-16. The second match was against GNS and with a shaky start in the first, SMUS came back in the second with a win. The final set was difficult but the girls dug deep and won 16-14 in the third!

The last match was against the home team, Esquimalt. The girls easily won in the first set but lost their focus in the second. However, SMUS was able to find their bearings and they easily won the third set! Samm Dark was our player of the week with her consistent passing and serving as well as her aggressive attacks at the net! A great first week of league play!

Cross Country
The Cross Country continues to impress. This week’s race was at Beacon Hill Park, a hilly course at the best of times, but coupled with gusting winds and pelting rain, it was no easy task. Jocelyn Stedman placed in the top five in the Junior Girls four kilometre race and Austin Smith placed in the 4th in the Grade 10 six kilometre race.

Cole Turner (Grade 9) and Seniors Lisa Evan, Leo Marchand, and Bryan Sun all had strong races.

Next Race: Wed. Oct 8th, Cedar Hill

Field Hockey
We were up against Lambrick (the toughest opponents on the circuit) and for the first time this season, actually had our full team out after the Grade 10 and Grade 11 Outdoor Education trips, barring a couple of long term injuries to Ayla Fowler and Melissa Bosworth. The SMUS team battled hard, trying to find a rhythm against a determined, skillful Lambrick team who really took their chances. As the game progressed, better passing and fiercer tackling helped the SMUS players combat better, so by the end of the game, there was some very encouraging play to be seen. Certainly the scoreline flattered Lambrick and there was a feeling that there would be a far closer game when we meet again in the Bridgman Cup on the Thanksgiving weekend. MVP was Lauren Kipp for her determination, interceptions and attacking play on the left of the midfield. Outcome: Lambrick 5 SMUS 0

Our game against GNS was a crunch match, largely determining who would be the Number 2 seed from the city in the Islands. After a very flat start in which our opponent scored on their fast attack, SMUS picked up their game and started to play some of the best hockey of the season. Ably assisted by Emma Abrioux as sweeper, there were some fine attacks up both flanks, but particularly on the left where Lauren Kipp, Paula Weech and Emma Wilson-Pease always seemed to make good ground. We were rewarded after considerable sustained pressure with a short corner goal from Ceilidh MacLeod to tie the game up at half time.

The second half was quite even, but SMUS had the better chances to win the game with many of the attacks flowing up the right wing through Kirsten MacLeod and Janine Hsu. Unfortunately, GNS scored twice in the second half, through an opportunistic deflection and also a defensive lapse. The SMUS goalie, Nuraiyah Kassam, had fewer saves to make compared to her opposite number, but unfortunately, the chances were not taken by SMUS, leaving the route to the Islands that much more difficult. A very encouraging performance, however, and improvements are definitely being made. MVP was Kirsten MacLeod for her non-stop harrying and tackling, as well as her incisive play in right midfield. Outcome: GNS 3 SMUS 1

Senior Boys A Soccer
The Senior Boys A team trained hard this past week and in Thursday’s game they began to put into play all they had worked on in practice. The only game this week, after having to postpone their match against Lambrick Park, was at home to our own Senior B Team. In the first half, the B side showed great determination and spirit, but the midfield trio of Tycho Mommsen-Smith, Travis Denley, and Charlie Southwell started to control proceedings. With wingers Kevin Kim and Ben Beaudoin making runs, the team was eventually able to penetrate the back line and score goals.

Besides our three midfielders and two wingers, our two strikers, Jamie Yorath and Jake Kislock, were among the goal-scorers. Our centre backs, Alastair Fehr and Luke McCloskey, worked tirelessly in defence and helped our goalkeepers, Jure Erlic and Olev Anniko, keep a clean sheet. Overall, it was an excellent performance from the boys. The week ahead is a busy one with three games—away to Parklands, away to Lambrick Park, and at home hosting Victor Brodeur.

Senior Boys B Soccer
The Senior Boys B squad continued their season last week with two league games, the first against an evenly matched team from Parklands. The game featured some strong performances from Ben Stieber, who very nearly scored on several occasions, and from Cam Metcalfe, who dominated the middle of the field. Several unfortunate errors and a sharp play by the striker from Parkland left the boys down by six going into the last few minutes. A shutout was averted, however, when Scott Dalen scored off a last minute penalty shot.

After a focused practice on Wednesday, the boys took the field against their SMUS A counterparts as a changed team. Far from being intimidated, they gave the A team a run for their money. They played strong defence, held possession, and made a series of brilliant passing plays. Though they eventually were defeated, they managed a number of near-misses that definitely had the A players on the defensive. Keeper Ching Ping Hsieh put in a strong first-half performance, and Kieran Sharpe made a series of great break-away saves to keep the boys in contention.

As always, Hisham Ismail kept the defence solid, working well with stopper and co-captain Kyle Bridge, who was always willing to put his body on the line with strong headers and tackles. Outside-midfielder Shun Kinoshita also helped create a number of scoring chances with his strong passing. We are confident that his shockingly powerful shot will make him a scoring threat in the coming games.

Junior Girls Volleyball
The SMUS Junior Girls A team continue to build upon their successful start to the season. In Monday’s league play, SMUS beat Mount Doug soundly (25-12 and 25-15) went on to split against Stelly’s (25-5 for the win and the loss in a narrow 26-28 game). Finally, the SMUS squad was victorious against Esquimalt (25-18 and 25-14).

In a play-day Saturday hosted at Reynolds School, SMUS placed fourth out of six teams, coming out ahead against Lambrick and Spencer, but losing against Belmont, Reynolds and Oak Bay A – three of the top teams in the city. SMUS had close games against top-seeded Belmont (21-25) and Oak Bay (22-25). They also had one victory over Reynolds (25-20) in their best-played game of the tournament.

Annie Pike is proving to be an indomitable force at the net as hitter and blocker extraordinaire. Nicole Bunyan is also coming on strong, and in particular had some crowd-pleasing killer hits and spikes in Reynolds tournament play. Tanya Rossa continues to be the rock of the team, with outstanding backcourt digs, hard-driven serves and aggressive hits. Michelle Yim is taking ownership of the setting position, tearing across the court to get to every second ball and successfully digging up balls that seemed impossibly out of reach. McKenzie Scott’s consistent serving contributed to many a team victory over the past week. Martika Rodgers, Christina Clemente and Ashton Louie all showed strong improvements to court play during the tournament, each playing her personal best of the season.

Grade 8 Rugby
The Grade 8 rugby team travelled to Shawnigan Lake School this past Saturday for their second ISA match. With much work being done during the week on tackling and defensive systems, they kept Shawnigan pinned in their own half for much of the early going. Eventually, the pressure paid off with a number of first half tries being scored. Wet weather arrived for the second half, making attempts to play a more free flowing expansive game difficult.

Persistance with this style of play finally proved successful with more tries being scored. Pleasingly, Shawnigan were kept off the score sheet on the day but will be sure to provide stiffer opposition in the return match at SMUS in three weeks time. Players worth mentioning from the game for their staunch defence were prop Alex Campbell, lock Christian Sharp, and centres Dave Pollen and Colton Stockus. The team plays again on Saturday October 18th at Brentwood College.

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