Riptide battles Storm to a thrilling draw

The U14 Riptide girls soccer team opened their season Saturday in Nanaimo against the Nanaimo Storm. These two teams met for a friendly match during the pre-season, so both teams knew the second time around would be challenging. Once the whistle blew to start the match, it was game on from both sides.

Both teams battled up and down the pitch making great runs and supporting plays, which obviously set the pace for a great game. It wasn’t until minute 17 that the Storm struck first making it an early 1-0 lead. Regardless of the early goal, the girls continued to battle and create opportunities.

At minute 24, an opportunity presented itself when Riptide striker Katie Anderson lined up the ball 10 yards outside the Storm’s 18 yard box and cracked a shot top corner to tie the game 1-1.

The energy generated from that goal seemed to have plagued the entire Riptide team because moments later Megan (Sargie) Sargent was awarded with a corner kick. She made no mistake and placed her cross right to second-year Riptide player Jessica Postle, who magically found the ball with her forehead and buried it back of the net. It was a header goal rarely seen at this level. The half ended 2-1.

As the excitement continued before the second half, the coaching staff reminded the players to keep up the hard work because plenty of time remained. The Storm immediately came out strong in the second half and at minute 44 were awarded a penalty kick. The player converted, and tied the game 2-2. Both teams continued to battle and seemed as though neither would settle for a draw.

At minute 57, the Storm struck again making it a 3-2 game with 13 minutes left. The Riptide coaching staff made some last minute formation changes to see if it could create a last minute push for a draw. That, and the amount of positive energy projected from the Riptide parents from the sidelines, must have aligned the soccer heavens because at minute 67 a scrum inside the Storm’s 18 yard box left the ball out in the open momentarily for striker Katie Anderson to bury yet another goal — her second of the game.

The game ended in a 3-3 draw.

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