By Nathan Chow and Chris Fisher
U18 Riptide Captains
The U18 boys Riptide team had an exquisite 18/19 season cruising through on the top of the table.
They only lost one game all season to their all time rivals, Bays Peninsula. Midway through the season Riptide traveled down to Portland as well as Vancouver to compete in two very high level tournaments.
Both tournaments did not go as well as planned, but when Riptide got home they were determined to get better. They worked harder than ever to get better and it paid off.
They marched into playoffs after a long season starting off against the Nanaimo storm. A comfortable 3-0 victory saw the Riptide boys through to the Island final against Bays Peninsula, the team they had lost to the year before in the Island final.
A hard fought game and a late winner from Seth Hanuse sealed the deal. Riptide became champions of the Island and qualified for the Coastal Cup as well as provincials. Coastal cup is a tournament that gives teams the opportunity to see who they might play in provincials. Riptide won two games in the coastal cup but the road ran short when they lost to CCB in the semi-finals.
The start of the provincial campaign began with their first game against CCB elite. After already losing 2-1 in the Coastal Cup semi-final, Riptide was hungry for redemption. After a very physical game, the boys found a breakthrough.
Chris Fisher whipped in a long free kick from half to be finished by Nathan Chow giving Riptide the lead. Riptide’s Strong defense – lead by Josef Dirom, Keaton Fougere, Brady Assu, and Dylan Robertson – kept the game at 1-0 giving Riptide the advantage of the tournament.
The next day, Riptide played the defending provincial champions, Port Moody. Although they played hard, they came up short losing 2-0.
Next up was Kelowna. A team they had previously lost to in the tournament in Vancouver. Winning this game would give them a guaranteed spot in the provincial finals.
Kelowna scored first but losing wasn’t an option for Riptide. They bounced back tying the game up from a free kick from half taken by Keaton Fougere. Adding to the score sheet was Corson Arbour and Josh Rolland. With Riptide leading the game 3-1, goalkeeper Mark Herasemluk went down with a shoulder injury forcing Jackson Bowles to step up. The game ended 3-2 sending Riptide to the finals against Port Moody.
Riptide tried their best but Port Moody came up superior once again. Riptide left the tournament with heads held high proud of what they had accomplished.