Athletics Review: SMUS Sets the Pace

Male_group.jpg

From the chip trail to the water court at UVic, Beaver Lake and the Monkman hard courts, this week’s AR has you covered.

Pictures by Jake Humphries, Laura Keziere, Rob Ducharme and Rebecca Sorensen

Senior Cross Country
by Jeff Hunt

Last week, SMUS was host to Race #4 of the cross-country season. Held at Cedar Hill Golf Course, the race is notorious for both its length and its elevation gain. Historically, SMUS has done very well, as much of the team’s training is held at this venue. This year proved to be no different.

Under overcast skies and a light wind, the girls race began and it was, once again, Jackie McKay who got into the lead pack for SMUS. Many other SMUS girls were not far behind, including junior standouts Olivia Donald and Acacia Welsford. In the end, the senior girls took the second place team award. Jackie, Acacia and Olivia finished in sixth place, fifth place and sixth place respectively in each of their age divisions. Laura Woods also had a great day ending up right behind Jackie in sixth place.

In the boys’ race, the Grade 9 tandem of Sean Lider and Ben Gannon had their best races of the season, coming in 12th and 13th places respectively.

At the senior level, the boys had another great team effort, finishing as the third-place team. The team was comprised of Taylor Ellison (5th), Gabe Lunn (8th), Zach Khan (14th) and Luke Friswell (19th).

This week, the Lower Island Age Group Championships take place on Tuesday afternoon at Beaver Lake. The girls distance will be four kilometres, while the boys distance will be six kilometres. SMUS looks to peak this week, and to get in some fine tuning before the Island Championships.

Middle School Cross Country
by Laura Keziere

Twenty-four students participated and we fielded three complete teams for the Middle School cross-country team on Tuesday. The Grade 7 boys’ team of Harry, Ethan, Tony and Tucker placed third while the Grade 8 girls’ team of Anna, Kate, Miwa and Riley placed second. Tuesday’s event wrapped up the season but, as the kids were full of enthusiasm and talent, we hope to see them come out for track and field in the Spring!

Junior Boys Soccer
by Jeff Taylor

In the final week of regular league action, the boys hosted St. Andrew’s. Conditions were good, but the team struggled to get into their rhythm as passes went amiss and possession seemed beyond their control. However, within five minutes of the opening whistle, Matty McColl — with a fine bit of dribbling — weaved through two defenders and popped one into the back of the net. Slowly the team started passing the ball around with more control and conviction, finding some space and penetrating passes. A few shots on net were well-saved by the opposition keeper, but in the seventh minute, Owen Sudul found the ball in front of the St. Andrew’s goal and tapped in a second. At the 18-minute mark, SMUS was pressuring the opponent’s goal and won a corner. The ball was whipped in and Graeme Hyde-Lay managed to cleverly get the ball out of his feet and poke another in to make it three. By the end of the half, Alex Carrion managed a similar goal from close range to take the tally to four. With four in the bag, the boys were feeling confident and a brief lapse in concentration allowed a St. Andrew’s striker into the box to curl one past Noah Pryce-Baff’s out-stretched palm.

After the half-time talk, the team settled, went out and controlled the game. Within six minutes, Gavin Maxwell headed home from Matty McColl’s lovely cross from the right flank. After 15 minutes, Noah — now playing up front in the second half as a striker — was played into the box, turned, and fired one more past the St. Andrew’s keeper. Fifteen minutes before time an unfortunate back pass ended in an own goal for the opposition, and the game finished 7-1 — a comprehensive victory to secure a berth in the quarterfinals in the City Championship.

Next week, the boys will practice for the following Monday’s knockout match against the winner of Stelly’s vs. Mt. Doug. The winner of that match will play in the semifinal on Wednesday, October 24th.

Grade 9 Rugby
by Ian Hyde-Lay
The Grade 9 Rugby team continued its season with matches away to Brentwood and then home to Shawnigan and CW U15.

At Brentwood, two early scores by Abdul Shokoya staked the team to an early lead, with some neat passing and good support play then contributing to another five tries. Joshua Kahn and Jonas Robinson combined to notch five conversions. Leo Shang ran powerfully all game, while John Cook, Dimitri Boroto and Ted Ye were part of a solid defensive effort.

Full credit to Brentwood, with a good number of its players in a game for the first time, for some positive rugby. Both teams look forward to the return match on October 18.

A powerful Shawnigan XV then provided a totally different challenge. Played in perfect fall conditions, the opening 25 minutes of this match were of high quality, as both teams showed impressive ability to put multiple phases together. Shawnigan finished more efficiently, as they grabbed a 19-7 advantage. For SMUS, Myles Duncan scored a fine try, while centres Artem Sakbiev and Tyler Strandberg ran strongly.

Unfortunately, the next 20 minutes were not kind to SMUS, with the visitors adding four tries without reply. Shawnigan’s superior size and speed, allied to considerable skill, proved too much to handle. Happily, SMUS then stabilized and, in ther final quarter, bounced back with two tallies of their own, one an exciting 70m sprint by Shokoya.

The October 15 encounter with a well drilled CW U15 squad proved a bridge too far for SMUS, with a few injuries and some other non-availability leaving the playing ranks somewhat bare. In monsoon-like conditions, the team struggled for possession and territory, and fell behind early.

CW, clearly benefiting from the club’s outstanding mini and junior rugby program, extended their lead, although SMUS battled away to the end. Duncan was almost a one man band in defence, registering over 20 tackles, while Robinson likewise looked to plug holes in the dyke. Johnny Liu ran well on the left wing, and Sakbiev and Boroto were again dangerous when given any space.

In addition to the Brentwood game, SMUS will travel to St. Georges on October 25 and then host a 7-aside tournament November 6.

Senior Squash
by Chris Hanebury

It was a very impressive showing by our squash team at the Vancouver Island Open. Thirteen members of the competitive squash team competed with some of the matches taking place on our home courts.

Noelle “Mad Skillz” Skillings had an impressive showing, winning the women’s B draw. In the semi-finals, Noelle was down two games to love and came back to tie the match at two. She then went down two match balls but scrapped and crawled her way back to take the match in extra points. Noelle saved her best squash for the finals making life easier on her coaches and won in more convincing fashion, three games straight!

In the women’s C division, the untouchable Madison Liew continuously hit great length and served well. She overwhelmed the competition and failed to lose a single game!

In the men’s A division, Gavin Maxwell once again had a strong showing. He played some of his best squash of the season and left the crowd wondering if there is a shot he can’t get back. Gavin’s remarkable retrieving ability and racquet skill are proof that he is ready to compete with the top players in British Columbia, including our very own coach and professional squash player, Victoria Lust. Watch out coach Vicky!

Vivian Lam, Giai Phan, Michael Rossi, Jason Yoo and Janel Gaube also had a number of impressive victories. Vivian and Michael both won the consolation draws while Janel finished fourth.

Our squash team is right back in action this weekend at the Evergreen Junior Squash Tournament in Vancouver.

Field Hockey
by David Kerr
This past weekend, SMUS hosted an Invitational tournament with five teams from BC and three from Ontario. They played at the University of Victoria and at Glenlyon Norfolk School on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning.

In spite of the constant rain, SMUS topped their pool with wins over Ontario teams St Johns Kilmarnock (4-2) and Ridley (3-0) and a rather ugly 1-0 loss to York House.

The SJK result was particularly pleasing as SMUS had defeated them last year in the final of the same tournament and it was particularly nice to win in an exciting game. For Ridley, it was their first defeat of the season!

In the crossover game on Saturday, SMUS comprehensively defeated Brentwood 4-0. On Sunday morning, they gained revenge by defeating York House 2-0 in the gold medal game. Goals were from Jenna Dhillon and Arden Mollenhauer, but it was a great team performance all around. There was lots of support from parents and staff, including Mr. Rodford, who provided half time hot chocolate in the pouring rain!

So the girls retain the trophy they won for the first time in Ontario last year. Very sweet! The whole tournament was played in a friendly, competitive spirit, and there was plenty of very positive feedback from the other coaches, umpires and parents. A big thank you to the Ontario teams (SJK, Ridley College and Appleby College) for making the time and effort to come over to Victoria to play in the tournament. Well done to the SMUS field hockey players for winning the Championship!

Senior Boys Soccer
by Jon Davidson, coach

The SMUS Senior soccer team stepped up their game with two recent home matches. The boys were well aware what GNS and Lambrick Park bring in terms of competitiveness and quality of play. However, with the addition of some capable junior players, the team was up to the task and able to dictate some of the play in the two games.

Last Thursday’s match versus GNS was a back and forth affair. The road team opened the scoring on a play that twice eluded the team’s back line. Undeterred, a well-played attack of their own got behind the GNS back four and, with a dangerous ball into the 6-yard box, Mark Kiggundu put it away from close range. Midway through the first half SMUS was awarded a free kick, which Tian Cai smartly put on goal, slipping through the GK’s grasp to put the team up 2-1. The match continued to ebb and flow, with GNS evening up before half time.

SMUS was under pressure at times in the early parts of the second half, but junior stalwart Michael Cernucan helped the team remain compact and disciplined on defence. A somewhat surprising red card dismissal for a GNS striker meant more time on the ball for our team’s midfield and Matty McColl, another Junior player, continued to supply precise and incisive passing in the attacking third. However, it was GNS off a counter-attack that was able to capitalize first.

As space opened up, the home team made some tactical adjustments, increasing the tempo of their attack and the amount of forays into the opposition’s 18-yard box. Utilizing his pace and drive Kiggundu stole in and crashed the ball home from a tight angle to even the match once again, with 10 minutes to play. At this point, SMUS were hungry and, through some good inter-play, found Keiler Totz at the right-side corner of the 18; Keiler, comfortable and confident playing off of either foot, placed a ball on goal with enough swerve and force that the GNS keeper had to scramble and only getting a mitt to the ball, pushing it into the far inside of the goal. With two minutes left in the game, Totz had secured a valuable three points.

Tuesday’s affair against Lambrick Park also posited itself as a tight contest. The SMUS boys were keen to start where they had left off against GNS and as the match went on got more comfortable on the ball. A couple of early chances for SMUS went unfinished and this cost the team later. However, a free kick won in a dangerous area allowed Totz to once again float in a ball that seemed destined for Michael Baart’s head, but instead found the top corner of the net.

SMUS built off their goal and continued to play in and around Lambrick’s 18-yard box. Trenton Schultz-Franco substituting into the game meant more attackers to link up and he provided a ball for Keiler to get in behind the back line and put home his second of the contest. What looked to be a 2-0 score-line at the half evaporated as Lambrick, off a flicked throw, grabbed a late lifeline. Blustery conditions throughout the game were again a factor in the second half as Lambrick was more on the front foot and eager to equalize. They did this and more as they went up 3-2. SMUS continued to attack, but, without a killer instinct in front of the goal came away empty handed.

In the last week the team has shown their chops a little will finish up league play with a home game Thursday against Mount Doug. An important cross-over match follows next week versus Esquimalt to determine Island qualifiers.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here