Athletics Review: October 27, 2008

Field Hockey
The last week of field hockey began with a challenge match against GNS, to decide which team would be the number 2 seed in Victoria. It was the first time that SMUS had played on the new turf at GNS and in spite of blustery conditions it was a very even, competitive match. SMUS outplayed GNS in the first 20 minutes, but didn’t turn all the excellent territory and possession into goals. On a rare breakaway just before half time, GNS scored with a shot into the far corner. In spite of two or three excellent chances in the second half, particularly after some wonderful runs by Ceilidh MacLeod, SMUS was unable to break the deadlock. Notable performances for SMUS were from Kirsten MacLeod in her role in the centre of midfield, Rachel Davel in an unaccustomed position of right wing and Emma Abrioux in commanding fashion as sweeper, and non-stop running from some of our Grade 10s – Meredith Witoski, Montana Sawyer, Paula Weech, Bonnie Moore and Selby Knudsen. Overall, it was a fine performance.

In the AA Islands Tournament at University of Victoria, SMUS came in very much as the underdogs, and coupled with injuries to and absences of key players, it would be a long shot if the team was able to win even one game. The first game was against Lambrick, and proved to be much tighter than predicted. It was a very encouraging all round performance from SMUS against probably the top team in the province. Nuriayah Kassam had a fine game in goal, ably supported by sterling defence by Emma Abrioux, Steffi Duvenage, Montana Sawyer and Bonnie Moore. The MacLeod sisters, Ceilidh and Kirsten, had excellent games, while Lauren Kipp always made something happen on the left side of midfield. However, two close-in goals and a fine shot from a penalty corner proved the difference in favour of Lambrick.

In their second game, SMUS went up against a much fresher Shawnigan team. The girls did not perform as well as they had in the first game and the resulting loss was not what anyone on the team expected. On the positive side, there was plenty of exposure to high level hockey for many of the Grade 10 players and Grade 9 player Christina Chwyl, which will serve them in good stead for next year.

The coaches would like to thank the outgoing Grade 12 players for all their dedication, commitment and leadership over the last few years – they have been an inspiration to the younger players and true role models for the sport. Tremendous thanks go to Ceilidh MacLeod, Lauren Kipp, Steffi Duvenage, Ashley Solmer and Rachel Davel.

Apart from one likely game against a touring team from Australia in the spring, that is it for field hockey this year. There are, however, many other opportunities to play and develop the skills in the game – come and see Mr. Kerr for more details.

Senior Girls Volleyball
Last league night, we hosted Brodeur, Mt. Doug and Parklands at the SMUS gym. With consistent and great setting by Marlise Nussbaumer the team easily beat Brodeur in two sets. The second match against Mt. Doug would prove to be more difficult. SMUS couldn’t keep up with the tough serving and offense of the Mt. Douglas team and lost to them in two sets. In the final match, SMUS easily won with Kristen Porelli’s aggressive hitting and a whole team effort.

This week the team heads off to the ISA games at Crofton House.

Senior Boys Soccer
The Senior Boys’ B squad played the final of their season against Esquimalt amid chilly and windy conditions that had our Latin American talent in particular pining for warmer climates. The team began a little disorganized, but steadily improved their performance. Our backline put in a solid defensive effort, and keeper, Kieran Sharpe, played the best game of his season, stopping several hard shots and at least one breakaway. About twenty minutes into the match, Esquimalt capitalized on their consistent pressure with a goal from one of several unchecked players.

Before long, SMUS began to turn the tables. A strong effort and some beautiful passes from midfielders Morio Oyake and Cameron Metcalfe created some scoring chances. After several near-misses, striker Guillermo Rossique, scored his first goal of the season. The second half saw end-to-end action, and numerous chances on both sides. Outside midfielder Ben Steiber, one of our most vocal communicators, continued his hunt for a premiere goal, but it was not to be.

In the final few minutes, Esquimalt notched a final goal for the win. The game was a fitting end to a season that saw great improvements from all our players. It is worth noting that our squad was the only B team in the city, but did not end up at the bottom of the standings. The coaches wish to thank the boys for a wonderful season, and look forward to seeing many of them again on the pitch next fall.

Junior Girls Volleyball
The Junior Girls B Volleyball team played Claremont, Spencer and St. Andrews in league play last Monday. This season the B team is playing in the same league as the A team and has confronted some very challenging opposition. Even amidst some of the barriers they face in their league, the B team has managed to accomplish many individual and team goals.

In their match against Spencer they lost their first set 19-25, however the team remained focused and managed to win the second set 25-21. Against St. Andrews and Claremont, the team was unable to win a set, but players like Shade Souc stood out with solid passing, setting and hitting. Over the weekend, Shade had watched the A team participate in the ISA Championships and had been extremely motivated and inspired by her peers’ performances. Sunwoo Oh also came through for the team with consistent serving, passing and upbeat team spirit. Emma Ronning is the team setter and her strong worth ethic and perseverance on the court has kept the team’s attack alive.

The team has two more league play days and the B Championships begin on November 12. Keep up the great work girls!

Grade 8 Rugby
On Tuesday this week, the Grade 8 rugby team travelled to Ladysmith School for their annual game. The team played very well on the wide Ladysmith field, with all 17 players getting plenty of field time, some in a variety of positions, to secure a sound win. Players to note on the day were props Carlos Sanchez and Alex Kinahan as well as wings Ellie Patmore, Theresa Cho and Tina Yu.

The team hosted Shawnigan Lake School in a return fixture on Saturday. Beginning very well, the team scored early but Shawnigan soon replied. Both teams battled strongly through the next minutes of play, with little separating the two sides at halftime. The focus at halftime chat was on sound rucking, the need to move the ball wide in backline play, both linked with solid tackling. This proved to be the right ticket, with a number of second half tries being scored.

It was a full team effort, but some players deserve special mention. Hooker and lineout jumper Keenan Manhas, Marcus Lelewski, scrumhalf/flyhalf Sam Reid, centre Dave Pollen, wing Colton Stockus and fullback Dawit Workie all played well on the day. The team also benefitted from the return of Liam Hyatt after an injury.

This week, the team will need to prepare well for their return visit to St. George’s School on November 1st. This game will serve as an indication of how far the Grade 8 players have progressed during the season and will be a tough match.

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