Two more very busy weeks have flown by with teams in playoffs at the local, Island and provincial levels.
The Senior girls field hockey team contested the B.C. AA championship in Surrey. Seeded 7th of the 16 competing teams, SMUS ended up in exactly that position, winning three of its six matches.
Day 1 produced convincing wins over South Kamloops (4-1) and St. Thomas Aquinas (8-1) before a costly five-minute patch against Little Flower Academy resulted in a 3-1 defeat.
This loss unfortunately meant a quarterfinal match-up against eventual champion Collingwood, who, despite a gutsy Blue Jags rearguard action, flexed its muscles en route to a 5-0 win.
Still, there was much to play for, starting with an opportunity versus Windsor. Unfortunately, numerous SMUS scoring chances went unfulfilled, with the Dukes slotting the sole goal to advance to the 5th place game. The Blue Jags did regroup well, shutting out Island rival Brentwood 3-0 in their last game of the tournament.
Standouts in the tournament included Catharina Commichau, who defended ferociously throughout, launched numerous attacks and potted four goals versus Aquinas. Chloe Fitzgibbon was a live wire up front, while Judy Kim and Kalsang Dolker anchored the defence. Grade 10s Suzie Stone and Nadine Reis played with ever-growing maturity and will lead a core of returnees in 2018.
In the Island AA soccer tournament, the Senior boys started brightly with 4-0 and 2-0 pool wins versus Kwalikum and Mark Isfeld, before then scrambling an early goal against Brentwood. The team then calmly weathered opposition pressure, with centre-backs Matthias Hoenisch and Matt Hagkull ultra-steady in front of a composed Adrian Hof in goal. In the end, the Harry Shaw marker was just enough to send the Blue Jags into the tournament final against North Island No. 1 Carihi.
This game again saw SMUS defend consistently well, with one second-half counterattack almost producing the critical first goal. Still, thanks to a superb extra time 99th-minute Peter Koltronis header, the team gained a handsome reward with a 1-0 victory and the Island title.
The win was especially sweet, as four physical games in a 30-hour window took their toll. Kudos to all the players, with Grade 10s Ben Shaw and Adam Roberts tenacious throughout, while midfielders Ephraim Hsu, Duc Khuong and Luke Rainier-Pope ran miles in attack and defence.
SMUS now moves on to the B.C. AA championships in Burnaby starting Nov. 19.
Eleven members of the squash team traveled to Edmonton for the Alberta Jesters Junior Tournament, a prestigious event which brings together many of the finest U19 players in Canada.
In an impressive showing Alex B. won the girls’ U15 title with Brooke Herring claiming a bronze medal at U19 girls’ level. Others who performed well were Christian Y., Sofia Q. and Jay Herring.
The Senior girls entered the South Island AAA playoffs as the fourth seed and needed to record at least one upset to reach the Islands. The team managed this in fine style, first tripping up Stelly’s in two straight sets before roaring back to beat Esquimalt. This match versus the Ravens went the distance, with the Blue Jags, behind excellent serving by Zoe Lott and error-free defence, capturing the deciding game 15-0!
SMUS then met top seed Vic High for the gold medal. A very close and competitive match ended in the Totems’ favour 17-15 in the third set. Both teams now move on to the full Island tournament in Campbell River this week.
The Senior boys first dominated Vic High and then Stelly’s to also reach the City final. Up against Pacific Christian School in the final, SMUS opened well to take a six-point lead, thanks to accurate sets by Tristan Kuhn and hard hits from Ty Olynyk, Nathan Von Hagen, Simon Gilmour, Noah Helman and Kelvin Wong. Eventually, the powerful Pacers’ attack kicked into gear with the Blue Jags finishing with a silver medal. The team will hope to go one better this week when playing host to the Island championships (Nov. 17 and 18).