Thunder confident prior to provincials
A Fraser Valley championship has slipped away, but that hasn’t stopped the Panorama Ridge Thunder from setting their sights on the bigger prize.
The Senior AAA girls high school soccer team still expects to be a contender for first place at the provincial championship tournament next week in Kamloops.
The Thunder placed second at the 16-team Fraser Valley tournament, falling 2-0 to the South Delta Sun Devils in Tsawwassen last Thursday.
“Although we were not able to get the win, I think our team should be confident heading to Kamloops,” said Derek Duke, who co-coaches the Panorama Ridge team with Darrell Fast. “The girls have proven all season long that they can compete with the top teams in the province and they gained valuable experience playing in such a big game on Thursday.”
A lesson learned in Tsawwassen was the importance of getting off to a good start, which wasn’t the case against South Delta. The Sun Devils, the top seed in the tournament, got an early goal while the Thunder were trying to find their stride. Only a couple of good saves from Thunder netminder Lynnea Yee kept the home team from adding to their lead.
Panorama Ridge got back into the game in the second half, creating some scoring chances but failing to convert.
“South Delta’s keeper made a nice save on a Jasmine Grewal shot by tipping the ball over the bar to keep the score at 1-0,” said Duke. “We continued to create opportunities, and were rewarded with two free kicks outside the 18 yard box. But we were unable to hit the target.”
The Sun Devils converted a free kick with five minutes to play to close out the scoring.
Standouts for the Thunder were centre defenders Gurneet Josan and Navleen Jammu.
Looking ahead to the provincial tournament, Thunder coaches are confident.
“If we can play like we did in the second half of the Fraser Valley final in the provincials, we should see positive results.
“As I would expect for most of the other teams that have qualified, our goal is to be the top team at the provincials,” said Duke. “But we first need to focus on winning the round robin pool that we are placed in.
“Every game will be a battle and we will need to be at our best for the full 80 minutes if we are going to accomplish that goal.”
- The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers finished sixth at the Fraser Valley tournament, missing the provincial tournament by one place. The Panthers lost 1-0 to the Sardis Falcons Thursday, who clinched a berth to the B.C. tournament by placing fifth.
- The Burnsview Griffins will attempt to repeat as Senior AA provincial champions, qualifying for the June 2-4 event in Burnaby by winning a second consecutive Fraser Valley championship.
The Griffins stopped Pitt Meadows 1-0 in the final last Thursday evening in Prince George. Elexis Schlossarek got the goal, with Julie Devriendt and Michelle Wessa playing outstanding games in the midfield.
Burnsview had little trouble qualifying for a third straight provincial championship tournament, outscoring the opposition 8-1 in three Fraser Valley tournament games, after going 4-0-2 (won-lost-tied) in league play with a 32-2 goal difference.