Athletics Review: Tales From the Beginning and the End

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by Darin Steinkey
This week’s AR sees our basketball teams hit the court in the annual Alumni Tip-off, while we bid adieu to sailing, soccer and volleyball.

Senior Basketball vs. SMUS Alumni
by Ian Hyde-Lay, Senior boys coach

The basketball season kicked off November 24 with the Senior girls and Senior boys taking on the alumni squads.

In the girls game, a star-studded grad lineup, featuring Kim Lobb (’98), Jo Bateson (’96) and Krystal O’Byrne (’99), proved far too powerful, running away early en route to a comfortable victory. The aforementioned trio, who were all a part of two CIS title teams at UVic, received further support from Sarah Adair (’06) and Helen Truran (’90).

For SMUS, with starting point guard Abbey Piazza, sharpshooting Sophia Ducharme and several others away on provincial wildcard Volleyball duty, guard Erin Hope and forward Rachel Sibbald led the way.

The boys game was extremely competitive. Joe Erlic and Dave Lafleur, both starters on the 2012 team, returned to strut their stuff, while Andrew Cavin (’05), Taylor Willms (’04) and Logan Smythe (’03), three very talented guards, all played well. Yet, the leading scorer was none other than Mat Geddes (’93), with the current SMUS staff member mixing nicely some low post work and timely three point shooting.

Down 48-40 with only six minutes to play, the school was forced to press full court. The last of senior Mark Yorath’s five trifectas eventually nudged SMUS ahead 51-50, with two more defensive stops and several free throws producing a final score of 59-52.

For SMUS, Dawit Workie, Georgios Ikonomou and Wayne Lin all worked extremely hard and contributed some key steals and rebounds.

The season gets underway officially on November 27, with the Senior boys, BC AA #1 ranked in the opening Coaches poll, meeting Belmont.

Sailing
by Jasper Johnston, Grade 9 sailor


Video and photos by Lizette Greyling

Over the past few months a group of 25 committed students have taken part, twice a week, in a new sailing program. This program includes middle and high schools from around the city (and Salt Spring Island). After weeks of training the season wrapped up with two regattas. The first was an invitational in which SMUS battled it out (though it rained ALL day) and finished in great positions, the Middle School coming first and the Senior School fourth.The second regatta was the Island Championships. Once again the weather was wicked, with 30 knot gusts shifting into 1 knot winds in under a minute. Despite the conditions the Middle School finished second and the Senior team finished sixth. Overall, it was a great season and we look forward to starting again in the spring!

Senior Girls Volleyball
by Melanie Masson, coach

“All good things must come to an end.”

The 2012 SMUS Senior girls volleyball season has officially come to an end. The team travelled to Holy Cross High School for a four team, round robin, best of three, Wild Card challenge. The squad faced off against Holy Cross (Surrey), Valleyview (Kamloops) and York House (Vancouver). York House was upset in the Lower Mainland Playoffs and likewise SMUS had a difficult loss last week in the Island Championship semifinals.

The two teams matched up in the first game and York House, with a little more polish and all around fewer errors, ended up the victor. After this loss the chance of advancing was minimal, however the SMUS girls rallied together for four more sets of volleyball and defeated both Valleyview and Holy Cross. All four senior girls finished their SMUS volleyball careers on the floor for the final point and although disappointed that our season ended just four days short of the 16-team Provincial Championship, we are very proud of our entire year. The team and coaching staff thank you for all your support and competitive spirit and overall we finished 17th in the province. Vivat!

Senior Boys Soccer
by Jon Davidson, coach

The SMUS Senior boys qualified for their second consecutive Islands competing well and with consistent play to secure first in their group and consequently a spot at Provincials. They demonstrated sound defensive understanding in their group play, and only conceded two goals in the four game tournament. In the final vs. Carhii HS the team allowed the opposition to dictate play in the first half, however, with some tactical adjustments in the second half, the SMUS attackers had sustained pressure through quick and effective link-up play. A very late Keiler Totz free kick goal (reminiscent of earlier in the season) sailed over the keeper, ensuring extra time. In the extra-time, SMUS had the balance of opportunities with both a crossbar and a post being struck late on. Penalties were inevitable and a foreshadowing of things to come for the team at Provincials. Carhi HS with a very strong and capable goalkeeper were more composed, and took the match and subsequently the title, as Island winner to Provincials.

The team competed in a group against Sa-Hali, Sands and Cariboo Hill, last year’s silver medalists. The first match versus Sa-Hali turned out to be a tight affair, with most of the play taking place in the midfield. The score ended 0-0, a fair, but not completely favourable score line.

The second match was against Sands, which also proved to be a difficult opponent. SMUS adapted well to tactical changes and with two effective wide players in juniors Matty McColl and Kieran Large, the team was able to exploit with width and create some solid attacking opportunities. A bit more composure in front of goal would of made the game more comfortable. Late on, almost too late for comfort, season’s goals leader, Trenton Franco, held off two defenders to drive into the box and slot home from a tight angle.

The win in the final seconds of the match meant the team’s third and final group match held some real meaning: a win put them into the top four, anything less and they would be playing to finish in the top eight of the tournament. SMUS soon found themselves on the wrong side of a penalty kick decision and 1-0 down, thus needing two goals to finish top of group. A second goal secured the match for the opponents.

With an interesting interpretation of the rules SMUS tied for second on points, but ahead on goal difference, and was required to compete in a two team PK shootout to decide which team would qualify as second of the group. The SMUS boys displayed their mettle and scored 4 of 5 with Mark Yorath making a key stop.

In their next match against Summerland, the team built off the confidence of the PK victory, however, they went down early 1-0 on a defensive breakdown. The team needed a performance from one of their leaders and captain, Michael Baart stepped forward, receiving the ball outside the box, he drove at his marker and struck a ball towards the far post that eluded the GK’s grasp. In the second half Michael double his goal tally and put SMUS up 2-1 with a hard worked goal, slotting home with a slide and looped goal off the turf. The momentum had clearly shifted and a third goal, with junior Alex Cernucan getting on the end of well-struck FK from Kieran Large, was scored. The tide turned again and the team succumbed to two quick goals. Tired legs left the boys with little as the game went on to extra-time, where nothing was decided and SMUS was in yet another PK shootout, this time unfortunately losing out.

The team marched onto their final match. Injuries, weary bodies and the gruel of five matches in two and a half days meant many changes to the lineup. The final match versus Smithers was a fair contest. However, SMUS was destined for yet another round of extra-time ball, but this one did not go to penalties as Smithers scored to give them the 1-0 advantage.

Overall, the team brought a competitive brand of soccer, recognizing and playing to each other’s strengths. Most impressive was how the team improved in team defending and kept the opposition to six goals in five matches. A special thank you for the contributions of all players. In conclusion a very jovial, yet competitive SMUS Senior soccer squad exhibited good harmony on and off the pitch!

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