After two weeks off from regular league play, Riptide U14 girls faced the Upper Island Storm on Saturday in their fifth game of the VIPL season. Not only did Riptide become the first team to defeat the first place Storm, but it was also Riptide’s first shut-out of the season.
Riptide and Storm had their first match up in September, when Storm won 3-1. Since then, Storm has earned status as the top team in the league. Riptide knew that making the most of home field advantage would be important if the tides were to turn this time around. Rain certainly made for more challenging game day conditions on the grass field, but that became an advantage for the Riptide girls who rose to the occasion.
“The Storm is a very strong team and they had not yet been defeated this season,” stated Riptide coach Jim Stewart. “We made some tactical adjustments since our last match against them and our girls were looking forward to this rematch. The girls executed our game plan perfectly and they were rewarded with two solid goals and a clean sheet.”
Riptide started off strong and confident, settling in quickly to both their defensive and offensive play. With solid effort from both teams, it wasn’t until near the end of the first half that scoring began, despite multiple opportunities on both sides.
Riptide’s Rosie Campbell set up the play from the defensive end with a pass down the left side to Frédérica Blouin-Comeau. Blouin-Comeau made her way down the line, making a gorgeous cross to Ciara Halvorson who found the top of the net to score Riptide’s first goal.
Storm then had an opportunity to score on a direct kick, making Riptide fans extra nervous. Storm missed and the home team fans sighed in relief.
Then Aisha Hunter-Bellavia took a corner kick, landing the ball right in the box where Abby Sexton was perfectly positioned to tap it in for Riptide’s second goal. That ended the first half, and the scoring.
In the second half, play remained balanced and Riptide’s strong defensive play prevented Storm from scoring. Riptide’s keeper, Nicolette Vinnedge, made numerous saves throughout the game, earning her first shutout of the season.
The Riptide U14 girls will be on the road this weekend to play Juan de Fuca/Sooke.
– Riptide U14 Girls