The VIPL’s Marine Harvest Riptide U16 boys soccer team started their 2015-2016 season with a doubleheader last weekend against two strong Lower Island teams.
Saturday, Sept. 12 the boys played Bays/PFC/JdeF at Pinecrest field in Campbell River. Coming off a second-place finish at the BC Provincial Championships in July and a subsequent long, well-deserved break in August, the Riptide looked a little rusty but made up for that fact by playing smart and with tenacity. Jay Grenier’s stellar play was definitely the highlight as the Port Hardy native scored the team’s two goals in their 2-1 win.
The second game of the weekend saw the Riptide travel to Victoria to meet Gorge/Lakehill at Braefoot. Without much of a bench (four Riptide players were nursing injuries), having to travel, and likely tired from the previous day’s contest, Sunday’s game was disappointing for the Riptide. Cullen Buholzer from Powell River scored the team’s only goal in a 4-1 loss.
The Riptide’s new head coach, Mark Purcell, said of the weekend, “We competed against teams that played really well but we played well too. Yes there are some lessons to take away from the games and of course there are lots of things to work on, but over all our team played really well.”
The Marine Harvest Upper Island Riptide’s next game is Sunday, Sept. 27 when they play the Upper Island Storm in Nanaimo. Game time and location TBA. Check leaguelineup.com/VIPL/ for details.
The Marine Harvest Upper Island Riptide U16 boys soccer team plays in the Vancouver Island Premier League (VIPL). The VIPL consists of high-level teams from Lower Island Soccer Association and Upper Island Soccer Association.
The U16 team is comprised of players from the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Quadra Island, Powell River, and Port Hardy. This team has made the provincials every year since joining the league – winning the crown in 2014 and placing second in 2015.