This was by far one of the best tactical games the Riptide boys played this year.
For those parents and fans that came out to watch on Sunday March 6, they were entertained with intense game play, a little drama and some cheekiness from the moment the ref blew his whistle.
Saanich Fusion played aggressively in the first half, and almost had the upper hand, but that was quickly defused by the Riptide defense.
Shutting down the Fusion strikers and redistributing the ball up the pitch contributed to the first goal of the game which came from Riptide outside wing Spencer Fleming. A beautiful use of speed and patience allowed him to sneak behind the Fusions defenders and unleash a deadly strike that found the back of the net!
The second goal came late in the first half from Spencer again. The build-up from the back was once again the key to the success.
The Fusion, now frustrated by the impenetrable Riptide defensive wall and superb goaltending…, attempted to change the pace. A combination of bumping and risky aggressive tactics backfired on Saanich and resulted in five yellow cards. Late in the second half, a Fusion defender initiated an aggressive take down on a Riptide winger in the 18 yard box.
A penalty kick was awarded to Riptide, who responded with a little attitude; Riptide striker (Fergus Hall) signalled to teammate Spencer, and instead of Fergus striking the ball directly at the Fusion goal, he lightly tapped the ball to his left and Spencer ran onto the ball and laid a wicked strike that zipped by the goaltender, who was left with his hands raised above his head in disbelief! The goal was in response to the Fusions cheeky game play. It frustrated and exhausted any counter attack that Saanich had left.
Final score was 5 – 0 for the Riptide! Honourable mention to Spencer who came away with a hat-trick, Alonzo Cortez with 1 goal, and Fergus who snuck one pass the goaltender in the dying minutes of the second half.
“Every player was very strong today” said Coach Steve Hall and added “Opposition were finally broken down by pace and penetrating passes. A complete team game!”
This win puts the Riptide Marine Harvest U14 boys through to the Coastal A Cup which will occur after the Spring break and then to the Provincials which will be held in July.