Athletics Week in Review: April 23

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Golf

Congratulations are in order to Leif Skogland, who captured second place in the Delta Police Invitational Golf tournament! His two day total of 143 at the Kings Links in Boundary Bay and then the Northview Golf Club was an outstanding achievement.

Rugby

The 1st XV had a wonderful chance to take top position on the provincial AA rankings when hosting #1 seeded Collingwood on April 17. Unfortunately, the skill, execution and emotion evident in the Boot Game vs Oak Bay was lacking, with a myriad of SMUS handling errors and an under pressure scrum the main culprits in a 29-17 loss.

In fairness, Collingwood used its heavy and well drilled forwards to good effect, putting the ball through multiple phases on many occasions and taking advantage of good field position to register five tries.

While an opportunistic Michael Baart tally and conversion gave SMUS a 7-5 advantage against the run of play, the visiting Cavaliers recovered to lead 12-7 at halftime. Then, after the home team failed to finish a glorious backline move, Collingwood punched in two more scores to move ahead comfortably.

SMUS however, with a beggar’s ration of ball, hung tough, with Baart nailing a 40m penalty goal and then, with four minutes to play, adding a touchline conversion to a Saeed Shokoya try.

Quite suddenly, at 22-17, SMUS somehow still had time to steal an improbable victory. Yet, it was not to be. One final scrum went awry, with Collingwood using the extra piece of possession to register a clinching score.

For SMUS, No. 8 David Boroto played like a man possessed, with lock Aidan McCleary continuing his fine form. Debutants Koby Grewal, Jason Wang and Diego Olivares gave their all in difficult circumstances.

Download high resolution pictures from this match at the SMUS Photo Gallery.

At the Junior level, SMUS proved too strong for Collingwood, running in six unanswered tries en route to a 36-12 win. Bryce Forbes and Josh Kahn led a strong forward effort, while Joe Johnston ran strongly in midfield.

Next up for both teams is an April 24 visit by Canberra GS from the Australian Capital Territory.

At the Middle School level, the Grade 6 and 7 teams experienced some difficulties in their week three games against bigger opponents, but continue to show that they have already come a long way in their rugby development. While there remains much work yet to do in terms of defence, tackling and decision making, several players, such as Matthew Gordon, Ben Shaw, Max Nishima and Lucas Bosley showed great courage on the day.

The Grade 8 team continues to field two evenly balanced teams. Making light of wet, slippery conditions, Aidan Kerr, Tucker Forbes, Sam Williams, Ethan Hersant, and Matt Hagkull helped show that skilful team play is the recipe for success.

Girls Soccer

The Senior girls soccer team completed a very successful week, dispatching both Esquimalt and Parkland in short order before focusing its attention on a crucial AA league matchup with arch rival Lambrick Park.

The Lions, an athletic, quick and gritty side, opened smartly and it took SMUS some time to adjust to the frenetic pace. Some key defensive plays by Izzy Gudgeon and Sam Colby, who threw herself across the goalmouth to save what would have been a sure tap in, were soon followed by a Colleen Wong marker, with the Blue Jags taking a 1-0 lead. And, while Lambrick Park equalized in the 22nd minute, Ali Murtland then notched what stood up as the game winner shortly after.

A tense but scoreless second half produced some fine goal keeping by Shinai Sorensen in the face of severe pressure. As important was the central midfield work of the Manson-Blair sisters, with Flora and Maggie instrumental in thwarting numerous opposition attacks.

The 2-1 victory secured the local AA league title and South #1 seed at the Island Tournament, set for SMUS on May 12-13. Before that however, the team will host the ISA tournament this coming weekend.

At the Junior level, SMUS suffered a tough 5-0 loss to a talented Reynolds team. However, the Blue Jags showed a lot of character by bouncing back two days later to secure a 2-1 win over Oak Bay. Aveen Glen and Robyn Noel tallied a goal apiece, while goalkeeper Anna Mollenhauer played a key role by aggressively coming off her line to make several important saves. Caro Garcia played effectively though hampered by a sore ankle, while Maggie Manson-Blair, Meggie Edwards, Angela Saunders, Mia Roberts and Kaitlynn Torstensen performed well.

SMUS now moves on to its last home regular season game on April 22 vs St. Andrew’s.

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