Athletics Review: October 13, 2008

Senior Girls Volleyball
The Senior girls had league night at Claremont Secondary School, starting with a match against Oak Bay School. Our team handily won the first set, but Oak Bay came back and defeated us in the second and the third set. In the second match, our players took on rival Lambrick Park and won the match, due to our consistent serving and passing.

In our final match against Claremont, a stellar defence shut down our offense and we lost in two sets. Players of the night were Shelby Boehm for her unstoppable attacks and fabulous leadership as well as Kelsey Harbord for her skilled consistency.

Cross Country
The Senior cross-country team tackled Cedar Hill last Wednesday, which is touted as the hardest route on the circuit because of its extreme hills and killer distance. Despite the challenging path, some of our runners reached new personal bests.

At the Junior level, both Cole Turner and Jocelyn Stedman had superb races, finishing near the top of the heap. In addition, young Samuel Jackson showed signs of promise as he performed his best race of the circuit thus far. At the Senior Level, Leo Marchand (who continually reminds everyone, “I love Cedar Hill”) did not disappoint, as he landed himself a top 10 finish in his best race by far. The rest of the boys’ team was not far behind, as team members such as Kristijan Gjorgjevik and Paul Tut held their own on the long course. Bryan Sun also had a breakout race, and finished in the top 20. On the Senior Girls’ side, it was Lisa Evans, once again, who was the top SMUS female.

The next race is the age-graded Lower Islands, which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 15th. The event takes place at Beaver Lake, with the Grade 9-12 races beginning at 3:05 pm.

Field Hockey
It has been a busy week for the SMUS field hockey team. From Monday to Sunday, no fewer than seven games were played, which included the prestigious Bridgman Cup tournament at UVic, plus two practices!

The first match on Monday, October 6th was against a determined Reynolds team, but with a solid defence and midfield line which created several chances, SMUS won 2-1 with goals from Ceilidh MacLeod and Meredith Witoski. The shot count was about 16 to 1, showing the dominance of SMUS.

Another league match against the improving Mt. Douglas team on Wednesday, October 8th resulted in an excellent performance in spite of a 2-0 loss. One early goal and one late goal marked a very even match with Kirsten MacLeod, Emma Abrioux and Janine Hsu playing particularly accomplished games, ably supported by Meredith Witoski and Montana Sawyer in the midfield and some promising runs up the left wing from Ashley Solmer and Grade 9 Christina Chwyl. The whole team was encouraged by the intensity and fluency of the play against a team who were expected to score more goals.

And then on to the Bridgman Cup on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 10-12). This tournament always features most of the top teams in the province at both AAA and AA level. SMUS’ first game was against South Delta, one of the AAA powerhouses and eventual semi-finalists, but not to be daunted, the SMUS team really held their own and went down 2-0, conceding an early goal and then one in the dying moments of the game. It was a thoroughly professional performance and filled the team (and their coaches) with considerable pride.

Unfortunately, the next two games against Argyle (North Vancouver) and Lambrick Park on the water-based turf showed up the gap between our level of play and teams with more experience, skill and flair. Despite these tough setbacks, SMUS then played Shawnigan for the first time in the season, and despite a massive territorial and possession advantage, were simply not able to put the ball into the back of the net. The game went to penalty strokes after a 0-0 tie, which Shawnigan won, meaning we would not necessarily be invited back to the tournament next year.

The final match was against Francis Kelsey, which once again showed complete dominance but troubles with being ruthless and clinical close to goal. Francis Kelsey scored with their only shot in the match and it looked like more disappointment until Janine Hsu scored late on to force a 1-1 tie, earning us 15th place in the tournament.

Overall, SMUS battled hard, competed well and showed a great sense of bonding throughout the tournament and the players have certainly learned plenty by playing higher level teams. The SMUS team, led capably by Ceilidh MacLeod, enjoyed the competition and are far closer as a team than a week ago. This will put them in good shape for the final league match on Wednesday against Mt Douglas and the upcoming AA Islands.

Senior Boys A Soccer
The Senior Boys A Soccer team knew that they faced a difficult week with three challenging games. First, they traveled to Parklands for what proved to be the most physically demanding match. With two goals in the first half, the lads held on for a solid 2-0 win.

Against Lambrick, the team went down early in the first half on a penalty, but the team held on for the rest of the half without conceding again. Early on in the second half, the Blue Jags showed great intent in front of goal after several free kicks found Tom Bridger’s head. The team was looking like the squad we were used to seeing.

Unfortunately, the lads were not able to convert on any of these opportunities. Lambrick went down on a counter-attack and the goalkeeper was forced to come out and challenge for the ball. The melee in front of goal resulted in a second Lambrick penalty and a sending off to the SMUS player. At this point, with not much time left, the game was beyond reach.

The team made Thursday’s match a very difficult one – with injuries and suspensions from the prior matches of the week, compiled with the fact that many boarders had returned home for the long weekend, the team could only field ten healthy players. However, they showed great composure on the day and played some great football. Jamie Yorath was not in his usual role as a striker, but played instead as an attacking midfielder. He made multiple penetrating runs which unravelled the Brodeur back line. SMUS went on to win the game handily with goals from Kevin Kim and Jamie Yorath.

The boys will be at home on Tuesday, playing in what is a crucial match against St. Andrews.

Senior Boys B Soccer
The Senior Boys B squad continued their league play with a match against St. Andrews on Tuesday. In a hard-fought, defensive match, the lads kept a strong St. Andrew’s squad to only three goals. Once again, the defence put in a particularly strong effort. On the wing, speedy outside midfielder Austin Thind proved himself a formidable threat, repeatedly beating his check. It was his best performance to date.

The following day, the squad faced off against Victor Brodeur. Though they showed flashes of brilliance, what should have been a victory ended up a 2-2 draw. Co-captain Scott Dalen again scored for SMUS and Austin Thind had another stellar performance, notching his first goal of the season.

German import Ben “I’ll-Get-One-Eventually” Stieber again came frustratingly close to scoring on several occasions and fellow Mexican midfielders Guillermo “I-can-run-when-I-want-to” Rosique and Jesus Vidaurri nearly capitalized on several corner kicks. When they are not colliding with each other, these lads, along with Costa Rican finesse-player Jordan Souc, are bringing some exciting skills to our midfield line.


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