Six games into the VIPL season, and the Marine Harvest Riptide U15 Girls soccer team remains undefeated. The team played Saanich in Victoria Saturday in what felt like an “epic battle” atmosphere; intense competition topped off with pelting rain that forced drenched players to dig deep until the end.
Riptide started strong, maintaining possession and leading the pace of the game.
“Right from the kick off, the girls sent pass after pass through Fusion’s back line which had them scrambling,” according to Coach Lisa Wigard.
Momentum temporarily shifted in Saanich’s favour, but Riptide didn’t panic. They quickly re-adjusted and focused on their penetrating passes and set plays, scoring two successive goals about thirty minutes in.
“We practiced our attacking corner kicks this past week and the girls executed them perfectly,” said coach Matt Laver. “One of our players was first to the ball on every attacking corner kick which resulted in one goal and several excellent chances.”
Riptide’s Sofia Cecic, who was returning from injury, came back strong to score her first goal of the season off a corner kick from Assistant Captain, Aisha Hunter-Bellavia. Needless to say, the team was very happy to have Cecic back in the formation after having been out of commission for four of their previous games.
Fans were excited when, on another corner kick, Riptide’s Sarah Bard almost scored by directing a header on net which, unfortunately, hit the goal post and deflected out. Riptide’s Kristen Clair set up Ciara Halvorson for the team’s second goal, which would end up being enough to earn the win.
Despite the opportunity to slow the pace of the game near the end, Riptide kept up the intensity and control in the middle of the field amongst the downpour, making some of the best, quick, composed and penetrating passes in the last five minutes of the game.
Ending with confidence, Riptide ultimately outplayed Saanich to win 2-1.
Riptide U15 Girls have a bye this coming weekend when they will head to Port Hardy (home town for two players) for weekend training and team building sessions. Then, on Oct. 24, Riptide heads down Island to face Juan de Fuca.
For more information on the team, visit Riptide 2001 Girls on Facebook.