With much of the talk around campus focused on the Boot Game, it’s also worth reminding everyone that it’s soccer season as well. The Junior and Senior girls coaches update us on the teams’ success thus far this year.
In our continuing Two Minutes With… series, basketball and soccer Senior Abbey Piazza talks about why the experiential program changed the course of her learning at SMUS and how it led her to apply and be accepted at Quest University.
Fresh off of Spring Break, the Junior and 1st XVs opened local league play, with both sides hosting Claremont.
At the Junior level, a somewhat makeshift pack struggled initially to secure quality possession, but adjusted well as the game progressed. Newcomer Josh Graffi opened the scoring midway through the first half, and this try was followed by one from fullback Mitch Newman just before halftime.
With the previous days of sunny skies and warm temperatures replaced by a cold, steady rain, the ball became increasingly hard to handle. SMUS did well to weather a series of Claremont attacks to start the second half, before Newman scorched over after a good buildup to run the score to 15-0.
Claremont notched its sole tally just minutes later, but, with Newman completing his hat trick, centre Max Pollen also dotting down and flyhalf Graeme Hyde-Lay adding two conversions, SMUS prevailed 29-5.
Scrum half Carson Smith and winger Owen Sudul both got through a lot of work, while, up front, Aidan McCleary, Michael Cernucan and Mac Valentine formed an all action back row.
The 1st XV game was almost a mirror image, with Claremont looking to pound away around the fringes of rucks and mauls while SMUS looked to move the ball wide at every opportunity.
Mark Kiggundu was first on the board, as the left winger darted in at the corner after a slick buildup involving captain Sam Reid, hooker Dante Morandin and centre Keehan Manhas. Dawit Workie converted superbly from wide out, staking SMUS to a 7-0 lead.
This margin doubled minutes later as centre Dave Pollen brushed off several challenges to score by the posts. Workie added the extras for a 14-0 halftime lead.
Claremont was far from done however, and immediately after the break exposed a hole in the home team’s short side defence to narrow the scoreline to 14-5.
However, a series of SMUS forward surges then saw prop Saeed Shokoya power over and Workie then demonstrated some superb running ability on a 40 meter jaunt to line. With the latter’s two conversions, SMUS moved to a 28-5 lead.
There were several other scoring opportunities in the final few minutes, with a number of last ditch tackles from both sides snuffing out promising attacks.
For SMUS, in addition to the scorers, prop Alex Campbell and flanker David Boroto toiled diligently while lock Matt Rud made the most of his 1st XV debut. Chris Bjola was also very solid, putting in countless tackles and winning a crucial lineout ball.
What will be a very busy season hits high gear this week with the much anticipated Boot Games. These will take place on Wednesday, April 10 at Oak Bay High School. The Juniors open proceedings at 3:45 pm with the 1st XV to follow at 5:00 pm.
Senior Girls Soccer
The Senior girls soccer team began their season this week with a league game against St. Margaret’s. The game was slow to start but the SMUS side eventually settled into more controlled play and maintained possession for the majority of the game. After many missed opportunities and shots off the crossbar, SMUS managed to net one goal before the half. The second half proved to be more fruitful with three more goals. The season opener ended in a convincing 4-0 win with goals from Abbey Piazza, Yasmin Roudsari, Erin Hope, and Ali Murtland. Shinai Sorensen got the shutout in goal. The team is gearing up for two league games this week against GNS and Vic High.
Junior Girls Soccer
The Junior girls soccer team kicked off their season at home in winning fashion with a 2-1 victory over Reynolds. Aveen Glen scored both goals for SMUS with the help of strong outfield play by Robyn Noel, Rachel Olson, and Claudia Wheler. Despite many challenges from the Reynolds squad, Avnashi Dhillon, Emma Loughton and Sarah Loughton kept SMUS’ defensive third in check. The win would not have been possible without a stellar performance between the pipes by Samantha Biberdorf.
Two Minutes With… Abbey Piazza