The Carihi Tyees senior girls team headed to the Nike Classic at the University of Victoria this past week in great spirits after securing their fourht league win of the season against Mark Isfeld.
The Tyees’ opening game saw them play the Belmont Bulldogs, one of the top AAA schools in Victoria. It proved to be an excellent game which was closely fought.
Both defences played well and made it difficult for the forwards. Carihi’s back line of Jocelyn Cormier, Alana Smith, Carrie Gage and Marisa Boyle were outstanding.
A breakthrough finally came late in the first half when Selena Lasote scored after a fine solo run. Belmont tied it up before the half.
The Tyees’ midfield of Olivia Currie, Eilidh “Razza” Rasmussen and Anika Shelrud were working very hard and effectively to both pass the ball and create space for their team mates. This tireless work rate ensured the Tyees kept possession for much of the game.
Carihi received a severe blow when Karlyn Healy went down after a poor challenge and was unable to play any further part in the tournament. Carihi took a 2-1 lead when Lasote scored again after a fine pass by Razza.
Belmont refused to lay down and again equalised after a smartly taken free kick hit the post and was pounced upon by a Bulldogs striker. With no more goals the game went to a shoot-out which the Tyees won. Keeper Haley Craddock made some critical saves throughout the game and she made the all important save to secure the shoot-out win.
The next day saw the Tyees take on top-ranked AA Lambrick Park of Victoria. Both teams played a high-tempo passing game and opportunities were a plenty and often met with some excellent goal keeping.
Jamie Senay, Richelle Stewart and Kristine Osachuk made an invaluable contribution as they stepped off the bench to earn some valuable playing time.
However, Lambrick opened the scoring, somewhat against the run of play, but once again Lasote brought Carihi level with another fine goal.
Lambrick Park regained the lead with approximately 15 minutes remaining but again the Lasote-Razza partnership paid off as Lasote scored her second goal of the match.
The excitement was not over and Lasote completed her hat trick with a remarkable goal as she dribbled and steam-rolled through four defenders before smashing the ball into the roof of the net for a 3-2 lead with three minutes remaining.
The joy was short-lived though as Lambrick Park came straight back up the field and tied the game with a well-taken drive into the corner of the net.
Again, the Tyees went to a shoot out, but this time victory was to allude them.
Their next game saw the Tyees face up to Fleetwood Park. This also proved to be a very close game.
Fleetwood almost took the lead in the opening minute and it took a tremendous save from Craddock to keep the game scoreless with a fine save to her right.
Fleetwood enjoyed most of the pressure in the first half and were a little unfortunate not to have the lead going in at the half. The Tyees got a “second wind” and the second half saw them create some superb opportunities. For the third successive game they went to shoot out. Once again Craddock came to the rescue and after the first four shooters for both teams scored, she saved the last shot to earn the Tyees their victory.
Saturday morning saw the Carihi girls play Burnsview. The last time these teams met was in the AA Provincial Championship Final in 2010.
It was goalless at the half but Lasote scored the game opener midway through the second. It looked like a Carihi victory was on the cards but two quick goals in the closing five minutes saw Burnsview take the win.
Overall an excellent tournament for Carihi. Craddock, the Tyee keeper, took the MVP honours.
The Carihi A squad currently leads the seven-team upper Island division with a perfect 5-0 record. The Tyees next game is against Brooks.