By Aleah Jordan/Carihi Tyees Senior Girls Soccer
In the end it wasn’t quite the full fairy tale, but wow did these Carihi Tyees Senior Girls’ Soccer players write the most remarkable script for the 2019 season.
Heading into the provincial championship this past week in Campbell River, the target was to be competitive in every game and secure a top-eight position. Not for the first time this, young team was about to overachieve and produce some wonderful results that would ultimately match the best-ever season for the senior girls’ soccer team.
The final was close for the opening 20 minutes or so but eventually the physicality and experience of the St. Thomas More Collegiate side proved too much for the young Tyees. The Burnaby team won 4-0.
And so, like in 2010, there was to be no banner and another silver medal was to be draped around the neck of each tired yet very proud Tyee athlete.
In truth though, it is not a story of a loss in a provincial cup final. Rather, it is a story of a group of young women who overachieved to a place no one dared dream in February as they started day-one of the soccer academy.
In a squad of 17 players, the only grade 12 players are Charlie Borrie (who was selected by the Tyees to win the Commissioner’s Award, which goes to an outstanding player on each team), Kaitlyn Dreger, Jolyn Barley and Aleah Jordan. The grade 11 players are Haley Wingert, Nyla Haider and Tory Stewart.
The grade 10 players are Talia Hadikin, Dominique Goulet, Inara Jhawer, Kiera Arsenault and Samantha Tucker, and the grade nine players are Milei Stewart, Gillianne Stewardson, Hana Jennings, Avery Sorensen and Elena Skalik. As they say, the future is bright.
Each grade 12 player commented on what their involvement in the program over these years has meant to them. Borrie described the program as having a very welcoming atmosphere that she always looked forward to.
“It’s nice after making provincials the last four years that in my grade 12 year our team made it to the finals,” she said. “I grew as a player tenfold because of the soccer environment along with opportunities through the Carihi soccer program…. It is what got me through the first semester every year.
Barley said the team had a huge impact on her life and gave her something to look forward to each day.
“This program has been the best part of my high school experience,” she said. “I will miss it immensely. However, the friendships will be lifelong. It has given me an outlet to express myself through soccer, and I am extremely grateful for these past four years.”
Jordan said the program meant more to her than words could say.
“Over the years, this has become more than a sport that I have enjoyed doing and has evolved into my second family,” Jordan said. “The friendships I have made over the years shaped me into the person I am today. I love everyone I’ve played with, and I am very sad to be leaving. The things that I have learned and gained from this team have inspired my choices and hopes for the future.”
Dreger described the program as the highlight of her high school years.
“I love seeing how much the team changes and grows each year and I’m incredibly grateful for the friendships I’ve made through this team,” she said.
The team also sends its thanks the big family of volunteers, sponsors and others that enabled them to host the games.