Riptide U15 girls head to the provincials

Campbell River’s Kaitlyn Dreger heads to the A Cup Provincial Championships in July with the rest of her Marine Harvest Riptide U15 Girls soccer team mates after winning the finals 5-2 against Gorge/Lakehill.

For the second year in a row, the 2001 Riptide Girls soccer team has earned the Island berth at the Provincial A Cup championships.

After winning the VIPL league title, Riptide had home field advantage for both of their single elimination A Cup Playdown match ups.

In Campbell River, the Riptide U15 Girls faced Saanich in a semi-final game that came down to the wire.

No score during regulation time led the teams into two ten minute overtime periods and then, finally, into a penalty kick shootout.

Each team had five chances to score. Winner took all. Finding the back of the net on every shot, Riptide won by one point and advanced to the finals.

Those finals took place in Courtenay on Saturday when Riptide took on Gorge/Lakehill for the opportunity to compete at the Provincials in July. Having never lost to Gorge in previous match ups, Riptide felt confident.

However, Gorge came into the game with momentum after upsetting Storm in their semi-final match, also in overtime penalty kicks.

Gorge fought hard, earning the first goal of the game. This put Riptide in a situation where they would have to come from behind for only the second time this season.

Scoring went back and forth until the last twenty minutes of the game when Riptide widened the gap, winning with a final score of 5-2.

“We are very proud of this group of young ladies for their commitment and dedication to their team, to their sport, and to the overall Riptide program,” expressed Riptide Coaches Matt Laver and Lisa Wigard after the win.

Of special note was Reilly Douglas who unexpectedly switched into the role of goalkeeper after the season started, showing amazing growth and contribution to the team’s overall success.

As her confidence grew over time, so did that of the team.

According to the coaches, that confidence also came, in part, due to the expertise and guidance of Riptide’s technical team including Shel Brodsgaard, Ken Garraway, and Geoff Hackett, “as well as the unwavering support this season from Steering Committee Member, Sean Arbour.”

In addition to a spot at the A Cup Provincials in Burnaby this July, the Marine Harvest Riptide U15 Girls also earned the Island berth in the Coastal Cup which takes place in April.

The team appreciates that Lacasse Construction will be sponsoring them through to the end of the summer to help cover the additional costs of their extended season.

For more information about Riptide’s elite soccer program and upcoming Spring Soccer Academy, visit them online at riptidesoccer.ca.