Carihi competed in the annual Carihi Fall Classic last week. Photo submitted

Carihi stands tall in Annual Fall Classic

By Josh Rolland and Corson Arbour

Following the most successful season in Carihi boys soccer history, a new generation of Carihi soccer players strive to live up to the previous generations success, with only three starters remaining from the bulk of the 2018 island championship team.

The boys kicked off their season with exhibition matches against both the local men’s team and the Masters Over 30’s here in Campbell River. These games were played in great spirit and proved an excellent learning experience.

The Annual Carihi Fall classic was played last week with eight teams participating in the tournament. Carihi first took on Esquimalt high from Victoria. A slow start by the hosts and an impressive near post finish by an Esquimalt midfielder, saw Carihi going down 1-0 very early on.

Finding the right rhythm proved to be a challenge for the Tyees, but with some improved focus the lads found the composure to keep the ball, and eventually equalizing on a well placed freekick by Corson Arbour. It proved to be a close game between the two teams, and a go-ahead goal was found when Carihi’s Victor Lee finished a well placed cross into the box.

Not long after, Carihi forward Marcus Shankar was put through and an impressive display of pace and anticipation was shown to get to the end of it, eventually slotting it home for a two-goal lead. To end the comeback for Carihi, Ethan Henderson demonstrated fine composure by putting one past the Esquimalt keeper to make it 4-1 for the final score.

Carihi’s second game saw them take on Langley Christian school. Carihi were determined to make amends for the rocky start in the previous game, and were on a mission to prove their abilities to play simple football.

The majority of the game saw Carihi’s midfield three of Sam Borrie, Tsubasa and Kenneth Jollife, dictate the tempo of the game, with smart interplay among each other. That was paired with good contributions from the front two strikers who demonstrated solid movement off the ball and smart decision making. The game finished with goals scored by Shankar, Henderson, Lee, Eric Phoung, and Josh Rolland. It was also the first clean sheet of the season for keeper Trent Perras and his back line of Corson Arbour, Jesse Seifert, and Thomas Greze-Kozuki.

Carihi’s final opponent in the group was Gulf Islands. They had also won their previous two games and came out as a very quick and fierce opposition.

That forced the Tyees to compete for everything and remain switched on. The scoring was opened in the 20th minute with a promptly taken free kick by co-captain Arbour who slipped it through to co-captain Rolland who slotted the ball in the goal to make it 1-0 for the Tyees.

As the game went on, the tension built due to just the one goal separating the two teams. Nearing the end of the match, a Gulf Island midfielder played a great through ball, the forward was fouled and drew a penalty kick for the Gulf Island’s forward. His nerves got the best of him and he sent it over the woodwork, much to the relief of the Tyees.

With great defensive efforts by Thomas Greze-Kozuki, who continued to show qualities similar to Manchester City’s John Stones. Carihi were successful in closing out their victory by fine margins, to qualify for the final.

Carihi faced Stelly’s secondary from Victoria, in the final of the tournament.

Stellys were also successful in all three of their group games including a nail biter against Carihi’s Junior team that saw them run away with a 2-1 lead very late in the game. Although the Tyees were delighted to reach the final, they were a little disappointed with their performance in their previous game and again challenged themselves to make better use of the ball in the final.

From the kick off, Carihi played a smart and conservative, possession-focused game. Mixed in were effective penetrating passes to the front four attackers. This was highlighted when a when midfielder Sam Borrie sent a devastating ball over the Stelly’s back four which was ran onto by striker Jollife who slotted a well placed finish to give Carihi a one goal lead.

Their dominance prevailed all the way to the end of the first half. Two goal scoring chances produced by both Carihi’s front two Henderson and Jollife, with one chance being capitalized by Rolland before the end of the first half.

The half time talk was kept simple from coach Ray Wilson mentioning “when your play is this good, you don’t need me to tell you.”

Carihi began the second half just how they finished their first. The effectiveness of Carihis interplay worked to top off the scoreline, but it was another impressive solo effort by Jollife which resulted in Carihi’s third goal of the game, and his second.

Yet another impressive game played by the back line of Carihi, consisted of solid distribution and organization, and had very few problems to deal with.

One impressive piece of defending followed a strong run by a Stelly’s midfielder. This was shut down emphatically, by left back Jesse Seifert, with a brilliantly timed sliding tackle. The dying minutes of the game Carihi proved their quality by dominating in possession. Keanu Billy and Phoung dropped into the backline to hold down the defence, to eventually finish out another clean sheet for Perras.

In conclusion we would also like to thank district ground staff, officials, organizers and all the teams who traveled to participate.

Carihi Juniors Take on the Seniors at the Fall Classic

By Logan Pierce

I played for the Carihi Junior Boys’ soccer squad as goalkeeper at the Senior Boys’ Fall Classic tournament. We played four games and lost all of them!

Finishing 8th out of 8 teams might be a viewed negatively for many teams, but I feel like the tournament was a great experience for us because it showed what we, as a team, are capable of. Even though we were facing off against senior teams, all our games were close.

Our first game was tied 1-1 late in the second half. It had been a hard-fought battle, but we were on the ascendancy pinning them in their own half. The opposition squeezed the ball past my left arm on a breakaway in close to the last kick of the game to win 2-1. Later that day, we went into penalties after a 1-1 score during regular time. A last-minute desperation save kept the game at bay. We lost the shootout 3-2.

The next day was an early showdown against Brooks. With bodies sore and energy low, we suffered our biggest loss, 3-0. We were outmuscled by the older Brooks, but we never gave up. Our final game of the tournament, one we were hoping to win, finished 1-1 in regular time. A close call by the referee gave the opposition a penalty which was placed perfectly. We lost the shootout 3-2 as well leaving us with a soul crushing defeat. I personally take credit for that loss because of my missed penalty.

Even though we lost all our games, we could’ve won 3 of our 4 matches against senior teams. After seeing what we did this past week, I believe the Junior Boys’ squad has great potential this year. I feel very honoured to be announced as co-captain and receive the Fall Classic MVP for my team. I am really looking forward to the rest of the season.

By the time this is in print, two games against other junior teams will be over. Hopefully we have learned from these tough experiences. Go Tyees!