April 29: Athletics Week in Review

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Senior Girls Soccer

In a very exciting ISA Senior girls soccer tournament, SMUS moved smartly through the pool stages, notching 12 goals without reply in victories over West Point Grey, York House and Shawnigan. Goalkeeper Anna Mollenhauer recorded the three clean sheets, while Colleen Wong and Yasmin Rousdari led the attack.

The final against crosstown rival GNS had a little bit of everything. Rousdari recorded her fifth goal of the competition in the 4th minute to stake SMUS to an early 1-0 lead. For a long time, it appeared that this strike would stand up as the winner. However, late in the game the Gryphons equalized. Extra time solved nothing and so the teams moved into a penalty shootout. Colleen Wong took over in goal, stopping the first and fifth GNS shooters. Rousdari, Sam Colby, Claudia Wheler and Ali Murtland connected from the spot, giving SMUS the victory.

The team can be pleased with its title, and playing its best and most determined soccer of the season. With regular goalkeeper Shinai Sorensen and sweeper Jenna Dhillon away on representative field hockey duty, others stepped into the breach and performed extremely well.

Next up is a Ryan Cup match vs Oak Bay on April 29.

Take a look in the SMUS photo gallery for downloadable, high resolution images of the ISA tournament.

Junior Girls Soccer

At the Junior level, SMUS registered an upset of sorts in the City quarterfinals, squeaking by Claremont 1-0 thanks to a goal by Victoria Martuscelli. The team now faces top seeded Reynolds on April 29.

Squash

Four members of the SMUS squash team travelled to Markham, Ontario April 17-20 to compete against 220 of the best junior players in the country at the Canadian Championships. At the prestigious event, held at the Mayfair Parkway, muggy conditions made for an extremely bouncy ball, which in turn produced some exceptionally long rallies and matches.

Robert Fisher has worked hard all season and improved as much as anyone on the team. Playing in his first Nationals at the U17 level, he lost his three matches but they were all competitive and gave him some valuable experience moving forward.

At U19, Gavin Maxwell lost a tough match in the second round and dropped down into the consolation side of the draw. Here he went through some astonishingly close and grueling encounters, recovering first from 2-1 down to win in five games. After a more straightforward straight-sets win, he matched up against a fellow BC resident who is now a freshman in the Cornell program. This match proved to be the most exciting and dramatic in the entire tournament. Tied at 2-2, the players moved through an exhausting deciding game, with the tie breaker going on and on. Maxwell finally prevailed 16-14, but not before the two both survived match points, with one key point having to be replayed when the ball split apart. The match took well over an hour to complete and the crowd saluted both players with a long and well deserved standing ovation. Unfortunately, with little left in the tank, Maxwell dropped his final match, but still claimed an impressive 7th place overall finish.

On the girls’ side, Janel Gaube took part in her final junior tournament as a member of the SMUS team. She too ended up in 7th position, but not before giving the tournament #1-seed and top-ranked player in Canada a real run in the opening round. Gaube split her final matches, and as always, represented the school with class and distinction.

In the end, Grace Thomas produced the top result of our group. Two victories put her into the U19 semifinals. Though she lost this battle, she then fought back in style, defeating an opponent from Manitoba to gain the podium. Indeed, a national tournament bronze medal, following up on her provincial title was a just reward for a wonderful season.

The season is now complete, though many in the team will continue practicing over the summer months. Congratulations to all those involved, but particularly the following graduates. In addition to Gaube, Michael Rossi, Vivian Lam, Jack Janus, Liam Keeler-Young, and Noelle Skillings all contributed a great deal and will be missed.

Senior Boys Rugby

It was a difficult week for the rugby squads, as both the 1st XV and a combined Senior/Junior developmental team found the pace too much to handle against Canberra Grammar from the Australian Capital Territory.

The 1st XV, thanks to some gutsy work at the breakdown from David Boroto and two long-range penalty kicks from Michael Baart, stayed in touch at 10-6 down through the first quarter before the dam broke. Congratulations to the visitors, whose accuracy and power were impressive.

The developmental contest went along similar lines. Flyhalf Angus Catto was recognized by his opponents as the SMUS player of the game.

Hopefully, some of the lessons on display will have been taken to heart, with the senior squad getting the chance to recover its mojo May 3 in the annual Alumni Day derby vs Oak Bay. The Barbarians will be looking for revenge following their 23-14 Boot Game loss on April 9.

Middle School Rugby

Coming off the Easter weekend break, the Middle School spring 7-aside schedule resumed, with the SMUS Grade 6 and Grade 6-7 teams playing Bayside and John Stubbs. On the day, Darius Rousdari, Adam Roberts, Max Nishima and Matthew Hart showed well. The two Grade 8 teams in the competition faced big and physical opponents in Monterey and Royal Oak. Solid scrums and good commitment in the contact area were the main pluses, though struggling to take time and space away from opponents created problems. Finn Goodyear, Harry Shaw, Matthew Hagkull and Joshua Mao often led the way.

All four teams contest their final Lower Island games this week before hosting jamborees on May 7th and 9th.

Take a look in the SMUS photo gallery for downloadable, high resolution images of these matches.

Golf

SMUS is very pleased and appreciative to have an affiliation with Victoria Golf Club (VGC) this year. All 12 members of the team are benefiting from regular practice sessions with the Pro Shop staff along with some friendly Ryder Cup style matches against other schools.

As mentioned previously, Leif Skogland, fresh off a career best 68 at the Victoria Golf Club in school team qualifying, went on to a second place overall finish at one-under-par 143 at the prestigious Delta Police Tournament. While the overall team play was not able to support this outstanding individual performance, the effort was pleasing and the experience invaluable.

Next up is the ISA tourney at Arbutus Ridge GC.

In related news, particular congratulations to team member Chris Wedick on recording his first ever hole-in-one last week. This occurred on the tricky eighth hole at the Victoria Golf Club. All four players in the group had hit quality shots and upon arriving at the green could see only three balls. It was then a race to find out which ball was in the cup!

Rowing

The SMUS rowing team travelled to the Brentwood International Regatta on April 26-27, with 45 athletes competing in 25 events. The event is the largest of its kind in the Pacific North West, with over 1700 athletes participating. Patiently waiting out a six-hour delay on Saturday, crazy water and a 4:45 am departure on Sunday morning, the team gave a solid performance and made it to 15 finals.

At the conclusion of racing late Sunday afternoon, SMUS had finished 12th out of 37 clubs, and, more significantly, second among the many schools entered. Congratulations are due all the athletes and coaches. In particular, coxswains Chloe White, Patty Ye, Anthony Kinahan, Katie McAulay, Anika Johnson and Ben Parker deserve special mention. They all operated under pressure, dealing with all sorts of water and weather conditions, motivating their crews, and getting the boats on and off the water in a very hectic environment. Too often their importance is overlooked.

The Junior Boys Novice 8+ rowed extremely well to capture a gold medal, while the Jr Girls 63kg 4+ and Junior Boys JV coxed quad finished second in their races. Other podium finishers were the Senior Boys 72kg double, Junior Girls JV coxed quad and Junior Girls 63kg 8+, who claimed bronze.

Next up is the May 9-11 Shawnigan Lake Regatta, after which SMUS crews to compete at the Canadian Secondary School Championships in Ontario in June will be selected.

Take a look in the SMUS photo gallery for downloadable, high resolution images of the regatta.
Photos by Stephanie Anter, Kara Jebbink and Bob Lin

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