The Campbell River Waves U13 Girls Rep Soccer team played a game to remember on Sunday at the turf in Port Alberni.
It was the team’s B-Cup semi-final game against the well-matched Alberni Valley Athletics.
Even the weather cooperated as the rain stopped and the sun started shining just as play began.
Game Captain Nyla Haider, goalkeeper for the first half, managed some incredible saves to maintain the nil-nil score into halftime.
She was greatly assisted by the solid defence of Tory Stewart, Emily McLean, Kate Regier and Rowen Flood.
The excitement continued as both teams played shot-for-shot in a dynamic second half. Striker Inara Jhawer had two great chances, but was denied both times by the Athletics’ Keeper.
Haley Wingert was an integral playmaker, forcing the ball up to the waiting feet of Holly Crosby, Amelia Nimmon and Jessica Revoy.
Both Shelby Cyr and Sandrine Daniels kept up the pressure and repeatedly stole the ball to turn the play around to the Waves’ advantage.
With the Port Alberni offence completely frustrated, and some critical saves by goalkeeper Kayla Lund, the second half ended scoreless and forced play into overtime.
The first overtime saw more incredible saves by Lund. The fresh legs of Phenix Konrad, along with Nimmon, helped to open up a chance for the Waves.
With the game still scoreless, the Athletics made another push to the Waves end.
After McLean’s unintentional handball, and subsequent red card, Port Alberni was awarded a penalty kick.
A move off the line by the keeper allowed yet another kick. Neither one saw the back of the net.
Going into the second overtime, the Waves had to play a man down.
Despite this setback, the team’s fitness was evident and they managed to keep the opponents at bay.
Overtime play ended with no goals scored and led to a shootout in order to decide the game.
The first of the Waves’ five shootout kicks was by Haider. She was successful and had to quickly don her keeper’s gear to face the Alberni shots. Alberni managed to get only two scoring kicks by her. Flood of the Waves tied up the shootout 2-2 with her kick.
This forced the teams into a further “sudden death” shootout. Jhawer was up first and made her kick count. The Athletics answered back. The final shots led to Port Alberni squeezing out the Waves with a 1-0 final score. Despite the outcome, it was a very memorable and exciting game…undoubtedly the best of the season so far for the Waves.