Athletics Week in Review: Senior Girls Soccer Wins Bronze at Provincials

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The Senior girls soccer season came to an end in a most exciting manner, as the team took part in the BC AA Championship May 28-30 in Burnaby.

SMUS opened pool play with a decisive 3-0 victory over Nelson’s L.V. Rogers Secondary. Aveen Glen anchored the defence in front of goalkeeper Anna Mollenhauer, while Taylor Noel, Claudia Wheler and Flora Manson-Blair provided three first-half goals. From there, in the blistering heat, it was a case of managing energy and resources.
The second game of the day was a real struggle, as both the Blue Jags and Crofton House appeared somewhat fatigued. Finally, Robyn Noel found the back of the net in the 50th minute, with Mollenhauer recording another clean sheet.

The following morning, Robyn contributed two early markers, which were enough, as SMUS clinched top spot in the pool via a 2-0 win versus Surrey’s Holy Cross. Sam Biberdorf did a superb job marking the opposition’s star striker, with the rest of the defence holding strong as well.

The three consecutive wins advanced SMUS into the semi-final, with top seed and pre-tournament favourite Seycove lying in wait. The North Vancouver-based Seahawks proved to be a very difficult match-up, dominating possession and territory for long periods. However, the Blue Jags countered with a dogged defensive effort, backed by Mollenhauer’s sterling performance in net, as she made two fine saves and dealt with multiple crosses and through balls.

Then, on a rare counter with just minutes to go, Robyn Noel almost stole the game, ripping an angled 25-metre drive just over the bar with the Seycove goalkeeper cleanly beaten.

In the end, after extra time also could not produce a goal, the game moved to the dreaded shootout. Tension mounted with each kick, with six rounds eventually being required. Finally, Seycove connected, SMUS could not answer, and it was all over.

To the players’ great credit, they bounced back brilliantly from this bitter disappointment, winning the bronze medal the next day thanks to a 3-0 triumph over Windsor. Wheler and Angel Tsui each connected late in the first half, while Robyn Noel, from the penalty spot, added the clincher with just five minutes to play. Quite remarkably, for the fifth-straight game, Mollenhauer and the SMUS defence held firm, denying the Dukes any real time and space.

Flora Manson-Blair, outstanding all tournament, was named to the Commissioner’s XI All-Star Team.

Congratulations to the entire team on a fine season and a wonderful performance at Provincials.

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