The Upper Island Riptide U15 girls soccer team won the gold medal at the A-Cup provincial championships last weekend in Surrey. In Sunday’s final, the girls won 2-1 over the West Vancouver Rangers — against whom they had lost 4-2 in the final round-robin game Saturday.
“It was a tight game (Sunday),” Riptide technical director Shel Brodsgaard said. “They did a long throw-in with a flick and a first-time finish inside the penalty box to win it.”
Striker Kassi Ackinclose scored the game winner.
“There were some key moments,” Brodsgaard said. “The goalkeeper, Chiara Le Vesconte, made a great save in the second half to hold the scoreline. Our girls were super patient. They didn’t make any mistakes. All parts were operating at full momentum.
“It was a great win. From what I understand, they’re the only Island team to win gold in A-Cup.”
The girls automatically advanced to the gold medal match after winning their first two games, beating Richmond 3-1 and Kelowna United 4-0.
U18 boys settle for silver
The Riptide U18 boys also reached Sunday’s championship final, but came up short against the Port Moody Selects, losing 4-1.
“Those kids gave everything they have,” Brodsgaard said. “Towards the end of the second half, it was like they’d been through war. Our goalkeeper, his shoulder was so sore that towards the end of the game he headed a ball as opposed to catching it. And he made a penalty shot save and an ensuing rebound save that were probably two of the most amazing saves you’ll see in a kids’ soccer final.
“Our boys, they were just up against a better team, but they fought hard. It was 2-1 at the half, but we just didn’t have the manpower,” he added.
The Riptide boys opened the tourney by beating the CCB Elite Surrey Selects 1-0 — the team that had knocked the U18s out of the Coastal Cup in penalty shots. The boys lost 2-0 to Port Moody in the second round-robin match, but defeated Kelowna United 3-2 to reach the final.
Brodsgaard notes the referee for the boys gold medal game was David Schmidt-Sweda, a Riptide graduate who grew up on Denman Island.
“He’s a top level, upcoming referee in BC Soccer. He has a real promising future as an official.”
In provincial B-Cup action in Burnaby, the U18 girls Blaze of the Comox Valley United Soccer Club beat West Van 2-1 and Williams Lake 2-0 in their openers. The girls lost 3-1 Saturday to the Kamloops Blaze.
At the B-Cup boys tournament in Prince George, the CVUSC U16 team lost to Guildford Thursday and Wesburn Friday. On Saturday, they lost 4-1 to Penticton.
Results at bcsoccer.net