After a demanding seven months of soccer, the U14 Girls Riptide soccer team was crowned league champions of the Vancouver Island Premier League this past weekend.
It’s been an incredible journey of mostly ups and a few downs for these 16 girls. The team finished with a record of 12 wins, 1 loss and four ties for 40 points with 42 goals for and 15 goals against.
“It was an absolutely fantastic journey,” said coach Ash Mohtadi. “We were in second place behind Saanich Fusion well into the second half of the season, but then jumped into first on our third and final game against the same team and never looked back.”
At the heart of the Riptide defence were goalkeepers Danielle Robertson and Maya Von Shilling who really stepped up their play through additional individual training and great on-field communication.
In front of them, playing a high-pressure zone defence, were Jayden Grant, Kristen Gage, Brynne Ziegler, Rachel Heselgrave, Emma Huebchen and Lizzie Watson.
Riptide’s attacking play was distinguished by a counter-attacking style through midfield turn-overs and a quick transition to attack by the midfield unit consisting of Charlotte Mohtadi, Olivia Bates, Toni Powsey, Zoe Nilson and Brooke Zawislake.
Rounding off the attack were the team’s thoroughbreds: Haley Smith, Camryn Curts and Justine McMahon, who punished the opposition time and again by smashing goals into the back of the net at will.
“There were no individual stars, rather the team’s success was drawn from a united, collective effort by all game in/game out. Thanks to the girls, the parents, coach Sandy Grant and manager Marla Bates for a memorable season,” Mohtadi said.
– U14 Girls Riptides