Athletics Review: A Full Plate for Thanksgiving

service-glare1.jpg

This edition includes Senior School Director Andy Rodford eating some humble pie while our teams work off their turkey dinners against difficult competition.

Senior Girls Volleyball
by Melanie Masson, coach
It was a productive week for the SMUS Senior girls volleyball team with, not only turkey, but league and tournament play on their plate.

The team hosted their home opener on Tuesday night, cruising to a 6-0 set record against St. Andrews, Stelly’s and Victoria High. The team then competed in the 2012 Camosun Chargers High School Girls’ Tournament on the Thanksgiving weekend. The girls performance was all-around impressive on Friday, as they won their pool without losing a set. The team played solid in-system volleyball with important on-court leadership from senior players Shayla Baumeler, Abbey Piazza and team captain Sophia Ducharme. The girls then advanced to Tier One of the 23-team tournament for playoff action on Saturday.

SMUS began against a confident squad from Sequim first thing on Saturday morning in their crossover match. Unfortunately the team didn’t have quite enough to advance to the quarterfinals and played out the remainder of the tournament on the consolation side of Tier One. With two very strong follow up matches, the girls finished in 9th place, gaining some valuable experience and making progress towards their team goals for the season in the process.

Look for updates next week as the girls travel to Belmont on Tuesday for league play against Belmont, PCS and Reynolds.

CAIS Junior Girls Soccer Tournament
by Jim de Goede, coach
Hosting the CAIS Junior Girls Soccer Tournament was a wonderful experience. For the 15 girls selected for the team, it was the culmination of five months of training to ensure they played to their full potential.

On the first day of play SMUS had only two games, the first against Halifax Grammar School. Although SMUS controlled the run of play, a 1–0 lead disappeared and play became tense and more frenetic. Fortunately, a long free kick from Robyn Noel put SMUS back in the lead and propelled the team to a 2–1 victory.

The second game was against The Study of Montreal. SMUS quickly asserted itself and took a 1–0 lead but then gifted The Study the tying goal and new hope for the game. Unfortunately, an injury to their goalkeeper allowed SMUS to quickly take control of the game with three unanswered goals. The final score of 4–1 does not do justice to the skill and composure the SMUS girls displayed as they closed the game out.

The second day of play began with SMUS going up against St. John’s Ravenscourt School of Winnipeg. This game was never in doubt and it allowed for all of the players to get lots of playing time. SMUS was full value for the 5–0 win and Anna Mollenhauer got her first of two shutouts on the day.

The next game against Bishop Strachan School of Toronto was pivotal if SMUS hoped to be in the championship round on day three. This was probably their best game of the tournament! The girls defended well, controlled the midfield and were able to capitalize on two scoring opportunities. In the end, the home girls were elated with the 2–0 winning score line.

Lower Canada College of Montreal, a talented and physical team, was their next opponent. SMUS could not have tried any harder – a wild scramble at the goal in the dying minutes of the game almost gave them a deserved tie – but they ended up falling 1–0 to their Montreal guests. The playoff picture was almost complete and a tie or victory in the fourth game of the day would assure a championship semi-final berth. ECS of Montreal were game competitors. SMUS had a 2–0 lead but then suffered a brief lapse late in the game, forcing the girls to settle for a 2–2 tie.

For SMUS, day two of play took its toll and several key players struggled, most importantly Desiree McIntosh, the anchor defence. SMUS played their nemesis, Sacred Heart School of Montreal, in the championship semi-final. The girls worked hard but were unable to penetrate the Sacred Heart goal. In the end, SMUS was eliminated in a 2–0 loss but were valiant competitors throughout the tournament.

For Robyn Noel, Charlie Colby, Aveen Glen and Desiree McIntosh, our team leaders, it has been a pleasure to coach you. To the other 11 girls who worked so hard, thanks for being part of a wonderfully positive weekend of competitive sport. Vivat!

Middle School Cross-Country
by Laura Keziere, coach

The Middle School cross-country team has enjoyed an excellent start to the season. With 29 students participating in Grades 6-8, SMUS is well represented in the Lower Island Middle School Cross Country League. The largest contingent, comprised of Grade 6 girls, is made up of Vanessa Wedick, Isabella Leong, Abbey Johnson, Fionnuala McKenna, Radha Raina, Julia Henry, Tasha Norris, Cindy Li and Marika Shafonsky.

On the results scene, the Grade 7 boys’ team is very strong. Their top four scorers at the Lambrick Park race were Harry Shaw, Tony Liu, Tucker Forbes and Finn Goodyear, whose team placed third in the opening race. At the following race at Beacon Hill, Harry, Ethan Horsant, Tony and Matthew Hagkull were the top scorers for the team, which placed second. In both races, Owen Weismiller and Jared Reis were very competitive and finished right on the heels of our scorers. Even if students do not finish in the top four places for the school, they are an important part of the team at races and in training. Every member is valued and his/her efforts are appreciated in representing the school.

Special mention needs to go out to the following students: Simon Erlic, Chris Egles, Angelo Fabris, Mathew Bernstein, Ming Deng, Lucas Simpson, Anna Mollenhauer, Alexa Matthews and Rachel Gorhovac who train and compete without a full SMUS team in their divisions, making it extra tough for them.

The team is gearing up for the remaining league races and the important Island Age group Championships at Beaver Lake on Tuesday, October 16th.

Junior Boys Soccer
by Jeff Taylor, coach

After a busy time with league and tournament action, the boys had a relatively light week with one league game and a practice session on Wednesday.

On Monday, SMUS hosted local rivals GNS. During the ISA tournament, days earlier, the teams did not meet due to the fact that they were in different pools and SMUS finished higher after group play; however, the team did not expect an easy ride from their opponents. SMUS started out strongly and with the proper attitude. They were rewarded for their hard work when, in the eleventh minute, Michelangelo Cernucan found space and let one rip from just outside the box. The ball swerved away and out of reach of the GNS keeper to find the back of the net. Three minutes later, Alex Carrion slotted one home from almost the same angle to make it 2-0. By the twentieth minute, SMUS was up by three when Matty McColl crossed a lovely ball into Owen Sudul who buried it from close range.

In the second half, the team wasted little time in returning to their scoring ways. Again, it was Matty McColl at the heart of the attack: after finding some space in front of goal, he chipped it over the keeper, making it four. At the 60th minute mark, Sebastian Luna, who had a great game, burst down the right flank and blasted a shot from long range. The keeper managed to parry the initial effort, but Sebastian followed up his shot and tapped in the rebound. With minutes remaining, Noah Pryce-Baff found himself unmarked in front of the opponent’s goal and tapped one more in to make the final score 6-0 in SMUS’s favour.

The boys go into the final week of regular league play undefeated with an 8-0-0 record in all competitions. Most impressive is the fact that the team has conceded only one goal all season. They will host St. Andrew’s on Wednesday, October 10th in their last league game before the City Championship playoffs.

Please note that I neglected to input the Junior boys soccer review last week, but have now corrected that omission. My apologies for the oversight. -Editor

Two Minutes With Andy Rodford

From what fueled him in high school to eating a famous Olympian’s dust, Senior School Director Andy Rodford holds court in this edition of “Two Minutes With…”.

Senior Boys Soccer
by Jon Davidson, coach

The Senior boys soccer team continued with league play last week, ending their winless run with an emphatic victory on Tuesday. SMUS was matched up against two more AAA schools, Oak Bay and Stelly’s, traditionally strong sides, often competing at the provincial tournament and Colonist Cup titles. Improving on the team’s defensive play was determined as key, in order to keep the game close and improve overall confidence. The team was also looking to fine-tune its counter-attack play, capitalizing on other teams’ lapses while finding our best options in build-up play.

The team was confident with the return of goalkeeper Cole Tamburri; his solid and confident play allows the team a base from which to play. Additionally, the continual development of Jordan Lane and David Pollen as centre backs has seen the back line become more resolute and determined. After an early goal from the opposition, SMUS found their legs and produced some attacks of their own. Entering halftime at 1-0 down allowed the team to assess what was working and plan how to both neutralize the opposition and build their attack. By the end of the match, Oak Bay had managed two more goals; however SMUS found one of their own through Trenton Schulz-Franco, finishing with a respectable 3-1 loss.

The second match of the week was Stelly’s, who have been competitive at the top of the league standings. An objective was to not give up an early goal, playing disciplined defensively. While Stelly’s did enjoy early possession of the ball, SMUS were able to maintain good shape and keep shots to a minimum and from difficult angles. Another injury meant captain Mark Yorath had to step between the posts. He was again solid and made several pointblank saves, especially in the second half when the team was tiring. The opposition was led by a creative dribbler and passer that has been identified to play overseas. With a tactical switch to counter this, SMUS was able to play with more composure and still mount attacks of their own. Stelly’s was a strong team that tested the boys’ mettle in the defensive parts of the game; a 4-0 loss the final outcome, but continued the maturation of the team.

A reward for difficult opposition thus far was an away match against Parkland. The difficult part was that the home team was well understaffed and therefore not able to compete well with our still somewhat injured squad. As the game wore on, it was apparent that it would not take too long to break down Parkland’s defence. Our attack was spread through many players, notably Shulz-Franco continuing with his goal tally, finishing with some nice first touch play and four goals. Other scorers were Mark Kiggundu, Tian Cai, and Borja Lopez with two each; Keiler Totz and Keenan Manhas had singles. Another good performance from David Pollen was awarded with some time as striker and a goal of his own. A rather mismatch of a contest, a win and something for the team to build from.

The team continues with key home matches against local rival, GNS, this Thursday and traditional rival, Lambrick, next week. We look forward to seeing continual growth from the team in various areas of their game.

Field Hockey
by David Kerr, coach
The Bridgeman Cup is an annual competition at the University of Victoria. It attracts the strongest schools from around British Columbia, including all the top AAA teams. This year, the SMUS team performed admirably to come 11th. Along the way they defeated Little Flower Academy 3-0, lost an exciting game 3-2 to Gleneagle on Friday, then lost both games by 2-0 on Saturday to powerhouses West Vancouver and Carson Graham. The girls capped the tournament with a win in a shootout 2-1 against Kelowna.

Everyone raised their game over the weekend, especially the Grade 12s, led by Arden Mollenhauer, Orla Glen, Charlotte Queen, Erin Hope and Victoria Lunn, while there were notable performances from star midfielder Jenna Dhillon, replacement centre forward Kasey Boyle, sweeper Becca Thompson and centre D Tessa Owens. This is the best finish for SMUS in the competition for many years, and the team ended up as the tops in Victoria. The girls fought hard every game with tremendous spirit and showed they can compete against any team in the province.

A big thank you for all the supporters who came out to watch through the three days. We had several faculty and students and it was great to see you up at UVic!

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the SMUS Invitational Tournament with eight teams in competition for the elusive trophy won last year by SMUS. They include three teams from Ontario, and others from the Lower Mainland and the Island. We will be hosting games at UVic all day Friday, and at the GNS turf on Saturday and Sunday morning. It should be exciting, high level hockey!

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY