Junior Boys Soccer
The last week of Junior boys soccer season started out badly but ended triumphantly. On Monday, the boys faced Oak Bay, a side they had beaten during the regular season. This match, though, was for third place in the city. The team played well but went down a goal in the first half after a quick free kick. Soon after, Dawit Workie, using his speed and a strong finish, brought SMUS level. Late in the second half, however, the boys switched off for a moment, thinking an Oak Bay attacker was in an offside position, and with no whistle, he slipped in and scored what turned out to be the winning goal. It was a tough loss for the boys, only their second of the season. As a result, SMUS finished fourth in the city.
On Thursday and Friday, SMUS hosted the Island championships. In their first group match, they faced a spirited Kwalikum side. Thirteen minutes into the game, Keiler Totz pulled in from the right flank, spotted the keeper off his line and lofted a beautiful shot that went over the keeper and into the net. Soon after, Michael Baart struck an equally beautiful ball on the volley, and it too went over the keeper. The boys, exuding confidence, went on to control the game and scored five more goals. Among the goal-scorers were David Daehler, Dawit Workie, Fynn Kehl, and Michael Baart who completed a hat-trick.
In their second group game, the boys faced Stelly’s, the team that had beaten them in the semi-final game in the city championships a week earlier. Both strikers, Michael Baart and Georgios Ikonomou, managed to score midway through the first half to establish a comfortable lead, which the boys managed to defend until the final whistle. Cole Tamburri was solid in goal, making some great saves, and the back four of Mark Yorath, Lindon Carter, Sam Reid, and Fynn Kehl were solid and impenetrable. David Daehler and Mauricio Montiel controlled the midfield for most of the second half, while Dawit Workie and Mark Kiggundu raced tirelessly up and down the flanks and tormented the Stelly’s defence.
In their first game on Friday, the last group game, the boys played Mark Isfeld. Their two earlier wins and the results of other games in the group made this game a mere formality: the boys were already through to the final. In the damp November morning, they managed only one goal against a very hard-working and determined side, and it came late off the boot of Michael Baart.
On Friday afternoon, the Junior Boys played Oak Bay for the third time this season, but this time it was to determine the champions of the Vancouver Island. The game was a hotly contested affair—highly competitive, fast-paced, and full of skill on both sides. As the game wore on, it appeared that the outcome would come down to one team capitalizing on the other’s mistake or one team having a moment of brilliance. Lucky for SMUS, Dawit Workie found that brilliance as he latched onto a beautiful through ball, which he smashed home. With only minutes remaining in regular time, Oak Bay attacked relentlessly and even struck the crossbar in the final minute of the game, but the boys held on till the final whistle. With this win, this Junior boys soccer team has brought the Island trophy back to SMUS for the first time since 2004.
The coaches would like to thank all the players for their hard work this season, which has turned out to be a hugely successful one. As the coach of the Mark Isfeld team put it, “They are a class act.”
Senior Girls Volleyball
The team had league matches against Victor Brodeur, Oak Bay and Belmont at the latter’s home gym. In the first match against the powerhouse Belmont, both teams had a tentative start. Despite some consistent serving from Tanya Rossa, Sophia Ducharme and Leah Hall, the passing skills and effective spiking from Belmont was a bit too much for our blocking and back-row defense. Strong serving from Belmont further put the team on its heels and despite a good effort, we lost both sets.
Despite the setback against Belmont, the team had to regroup and play Victor Brodeur immediately afterwards. Strong serving from Shayla Baumeler and Ali Pollen set the tone for success and the girls never looked back. Accurate serve receiving from Michelle Yim and Ali Pollen really made it easy for Leah Hall to run attacks from middle and power. This was the difference in the set and we prevailed 25-21. In the second set, great passing from Shade Souc and Sophia Ducharme, particularly on serve receive, enabled the team to win 25-16.
In the final match against Oak Bay, the team really showed some focussed and consistent play against a strong opponent. Both teams traded points from the outset in an intense set that was fun to coach; each team exchanged in a number of exciting rallies. Aggressive serves from Sophia Ducharme, Ali Pollen and Shade Souc helped us win many points. The team fought to the end but lost the first set 22-25. In the second set, our passing and focus was not quite the same and we lost 10-25.
At the ISA Tournament at Crofton House, the girls were psyched to take on the tournament favourite to win gold. From the first point, the girls showed good intensity and competed hard during every rally. Michelle Yim and Sophia Ducharme led the team with some good serve receive passing. The team played with aggression as Annie Pike had two blocks for points and power hitters Shayla Baumeler and Sophia Ducharme had two and four kills respectively. After trading points at 16-16 all, Crofton House increased the pressure further on our defense with some effective hitting and serving. They prevailed 25-18. The second set was very similar to the first in that we matched them point for point for most of it. Once again, Crofton House prevailed by the same score in the second set as they were able to control our attacks and serves a bit better than us.
Our next opponent was Shawnigan Lake and they were a strong opponent with much skill and good height. We started out strong and really put them on their heels with a good lead. Unfortunately, Shawnigan gained momentum. Although we played very well, they executed their offense a bit more aggressively than we were able to; consequently, we lost a heart breaker 25-27. At the crucial points in the set, we made some key mental or positional errors, which really hurt us. To the team’s credit, we dismissed the possibly depressing loss and came out strong to start the second set. Some amazingly accurate serve receive passing from Tanya Rossa and impressive blocking from the entire front row (eight in total), really helped us attack aggressively and maintain momentum. We won another nail-biter 25-23.
At this point, the team was feeling very good about its play and we were looking forward to doing well against our last two opponents, Mulgrave and Collingwood both from West Vancouver. Unfortunately, despite all attempts to combat fatigue, the team started to “run on vapours” as the matches progressed into the night. A strong serving run by Shade Souc and some good blocking from our middle blockers Sophia Ducharme and Annie Pike really helped us win some points. Two kills apiece from our middles and Shayla Baumeler enabled us to prevail 25-21. However, this set really took our last bit of energy. In the final set against Mulgrave, we lost in a disappointing 23-25 outcome.
Against Collingwood, our team really tried to find some energy and focus but we lost two disappointing sets that were close in score. This put us out of contention for medals but did not reflect our play for most of the day. In our final match against Saint Margaret’s the next day, the team won the first set 25-21 with some good attacks (three kills from Sophia, two from Annie, one from Tanya, two from Shade and one from Kirby) and strong serving from everyone. We lost a close second set 23-25 and then came up short in the third set that was filled with mental errors. Disappointed but not defeated, the team had a good tournament overall and we left Vancouver with confidence that the final results were not indicative of our true ability.
In our league matches on Nov. 2, we hosted Glenlyon-Norfolk House, Claremont and Lambrick Park. Against GNS, some great serve reception from power-hitter Shade Souc, libero Kirby McLean and offside player Tanya Rossa really made it easy for our “emergency” setter Sophia Ducharme. Some strong kills from Shayla Baumeler and Annie Pike were too much for GNS. With setter Leah Hall back in the second set and Sophia Ducharme as power-hitter again, GNS had no answer for the eight kills they combined on. This was made possible by some great passing from everyone. The team played a relaxed and composed match as we won both sets.
The second match against Claremont was particularly rewarding as the team competed well against a good team; especially the second set, which we held them off 26-24, maintaining the lead throughout and not letting them take control of the set. Strong play from Deryn Ramsey really added some energy positive spirit to the team; she had some effective serves and three kills in the frontcourt. Tanya Rossa finished the set with two kills and Sophia Ducharme had four.
In the final match against the “well-oiled machine” that is Lambrick Park, arguably the best team in the city, the team came out a bit intimidated. However after calling a timeout down 6-0, the team re-grouped and competed well. Ultimately, their precise serving and strong attacks to our seams in defense really put them over the top. In the second set, we played well despite the circumstances and did our best. We served effectively but their passing was superb and any free balls we gave them were usually answered promptly with some innovative spikes or attacks to our weak areas on defense. Despite losing the second set 25-19, the team and I were feeling good about our effort overall against them.
The city playoffs begin next week to determine placing for the Island championships the weekend of Nov. 19. SMUS is hosting the tournament and we hope to get another crack at teams we have played against in previous tournaments.
- Lachlan Glen 3-1 Loss
- Michael Groot 3-1 Loss
- Chris Groot 3-2 Win
- Cole Turner 3-0 Loss
- Zach Khan 3-0 Loss