Athletics Review: Ready to Roll

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Like a coxswain in the bow, our rowers are plotting strategy and steering their way to the Brentwood Bay Regatta this weekend. We wish them good luck and great weather! In addition, from the tennis hard court to the wickets to the grass and the sand, SMUS athletes are rolling and we’ve got all your recaps right here.

Tennis
by Ira Hemond

After the team’s first few weeks of practice and an unlucky spell of bad weather, SMUS finally got on the courts against Lambrick Park. As it was their first set of matches and they were facing a fairly good team, it took a bit of time to warm up and get comfortable. The doubles played well and the singles won in a few close matches.

After their Lambrick match and a few other rainy practices, the Jags were set to play GNS. All the practices meant the team began to mesh and SMUS played the best they have to date. With commanding singles wins and a marathon doubles match on the girls’ side, everyone played to their best ability to take home the win.

Cricket
by Graham Lilly, coach

The cricket team played two exhibition games this last week against adult teams and played very well. Notable performances included Trenton Schultz-Franco’s excellent batting in both games, Mark Yorath’s growing confidence while keeping wicket and Chris Wedick’s first wicket for SMUS. Well done team — a solid start to the season.

Track & Field
by Judy Tobacco, coach

The track and field team posted some excellent results in meet #4 of the city league. Standouts included sprinter Conrad Chin posting the fastest time of the season in the Grade 9 boys 400 metre race; Chrissy Robillard who won the Senior girls steeplechase in her first attempt at that event; and Beta Willeboordse who placed first in Junior girls long jump.

Special congratulations to Laura Woods, Ethel Kiggundu, Chrissy Robillard, Stephanie Wong-Harrison, Ayumi Tomishigi and Tammy Tan who all braved the cold, wet conditions to run impressive times in the 400 metre race. The penultimate league meet of the season takes place this Wednesday at the UVic stadium.

Middle School Rugby
by Bruce Kuklinski

The three Grade 6, 7 and 8 spring 7-aside rugby teams played their second round of games this past week. All the players continued to show improvement in their ball handling and tackling skills, as well as their game knowledge. A number of players played very well in what is a team effort. Among the Grade 6 students, Connor Chan and Gabriel Castillo displayed much improvement from the previous week. In the Grade 7 cohort, Aidan Kerr and Finn Goodyear showed much promise. In Grade 8 — who played in wet and cold conditions — Max Olberg and Nathan Anter were to the fore, impressing with their play but also their willingness to play for another school who were short of players on the day.

The middle school spring season continues with games each Tuesday and Thursday through until the Victoria Day long weekend.

Junior Girls Soccer
by Mariel Solsberg

The Junior girls soccer team continued down the path of success with two wins this past week. They started the week off visiting GNS, delivering a 4-2 win. Claudia Wheler tallied no fewer than three goals while Flora Manson-Blair blasted a rocket (we’re told some bystanders may have mistaken it for one) from at least 30 yards out to the top corner of the opposing team’s goal. Rachael Benjamin bravely stepped in net for the second half and did an outstanding job to keep SMUS ahead.

In the team’s second game of the week, the girls faced St. Andrew’s on the SMUS pitch. Rachel Olson recorded the team’s second hat-trick of the season (and week), leading the Jags to a 4-1 win. SMUS had too many chances to count and were unlucky not to score more, especially when Rachael Benjamin’s shot off a cross hit the post. Becca Thomson, Emma and Sarah Loughton, and Avnashi Dhillon helped secure the team defensively while Gabbi Leon and Aveen Glen gave the team a much needed boost with their ability to hold the ball up and successfully distribute. Way to go girls!

Rugby

The 1st XV suffered its first defeat of the season, going down 29-13 in North Vancouver against BC AA #2-ranked Collingwood.

In a bright start, penalty goals by Dawit Workie and Michael Baart on either side of a breathtaking 70-metre gallop to paydirt by prop Saeed Shokoya saw SMUS lead 13-7 at halftime. Another fine piece of play just before the break was then capped by a superb cross kick from Workie to several players lined up out wide. Eventually, flanker Clarence Choy gathered the loose ball and plunged over, but unfortunately the referee was unsighted and the try negated.

To its credit, Collingwood tightened the screws after intermission, and denied SMUS any possession for long periods. Continued battering around the fringes eventually paid dividends, with two scores putting the Cavaliers up 19-13.

SMUS had one chance to possibly retake the lead, but a clever chip through by Baart bounced cruelly into touch with the home defence in disarray.

A final Collingwood try with four minutes remaining and then a penalty kick on full time completed the scoring.

For SMUS, flanker David Boroto and hooker Matt Shin tackled relentlessly, while centre Dave Pollen — closely marked — made several strong runs.

The Junior curtain-raiser featured a lot of end-to-end play, with Collingwood recovering from 14-0 down to reduce the deficit to only two points early in the second half. However, SMUS then recovered its attacking flair, adding three more multi-phase scores to win 31-12.

For the victors, David Lee, Dante Morandin (2), Mitchell Newman and Josh Kahn notched tries, with Graeme Hyde-Lay adding three conversions.

The Juniors travel to Claremont in local league action April 25, with the rapidly improving Grade 9 side hosting Cowichan U15s the same day.

The Seniors have a bye week, and will focus on preparing for the provincial Sevens Tournament April 27-28 at UBC. SMUS has been drawn in a pool with Kelowna, Magee and a still to be determined representative from the Fraser Valley.

Senior Girls Soccer
by Nikki Kaufmann, coach

It was a busy week for the Senior girls soccer team as they continued with league play and competed in the UVic High School Tournament.

Their first game of the week was against Esquimalt, marking the mid-point of their league season. SMUS was certainly vying for a win to add three points to their standings and to continue on the path to the playoffs. From the first whistle, the game was never in question for SMUS and they did indeed get the three points with a convincing 5-0 victory. Yasmin Roudsari showed an affinity for the back of the net this game as she put away all five goals. Noteworthy assists came from Ali Murtland and Meriah Drabkin. Shinai Sorensen notched her third shutout of the season between the pipes for SMUS.

On the weekend, the team saw competition from around the province, including games against Rutland, GNS, Burnsview, and Fleetwood. A 2-0 win for SMUS, with goals from Roudsari and Erin Hope, in the first game against Rutland put them on the Tier I side of the draw for the rest of the 24-team tournament. This meant tough competition in the following three games. SMUS came out slow in the GNS game and got behind 3-0 early. While they picked up their play in the latter stages of the game, they could not generate much attack and the game ended 3-0.

Burnsview provided a more evenly matched game as the lead shifted throughout. SMUS drew first blood with Abbey Piazza converting a header off a long ball into the box, however, Burnsview responded with two goals to lead 2-1 for most of the game. SMUS did not concede and in the dying minute of the game Robyn Noel scored to take the match to a shootout. The girls came up short in the end, which then put them through to play Fleetwood in their final game.

It was another even match up and a defensive battle for both teams. Jenna Dhillon put SMUS on the board with an early 25-yard rocket to the back of the net. Fleetwood answered back only five minutes later and 1-1 was the eventual final score. A shootout determined the game and a 8th shooter save by the Fleetwood keeper gave them the win.

Overall, it was a good showing for SMUS at this highly competitive tournament and Ali Murtland was named one of the tournament MVPs. SMUS will play their final two league games this week, which will determine their fate in moving forward to the Island Championships in May.

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