Consecutive weekends of perfect autumn weather boosted the spirits of the CVUSC Thunder U13 girls select soccer team and their dedicated fans.
Victoria’s top two U14 soccer clubs and the Thunder squad tangled for two weekend friendly matches, the first Saturday on artificial turf and the second Sunday on a grass pitch in Sidney. The players faced this weekend of fun and competition with their trademark zeal proving early on that goals were not going to be easy for anyone.
Thunder first drew to a 1-1 tie with Saanich Fusion FC Saturday as they struggled to adapt their game to Lochside Park`s artificial turf. Highlighted by excellent defensive play, Thunder went ahead 1-0 in the first half with a skilled far post shot from Haley. But late in the game the opposition tied it up on a booming 25-yard free kick, a score indicative of the close match.
Game two on Sunday was equally competitive, as both sides marked every foray with serious intent. It was Brooke Zawislake who weaved through the Peninsula FC midfield and outside backs to curl an untouchable shot far post for the win. At that point the emotionally frangible fans pretty much lost it. The Thunder and entourage were met with gracious, skilled and welcoming Victoria home teams.
The stouthearted Warriors made every inch of field a valued commodity while striking with power and speed. One shot hammered at the valiant Thunder keeper Justine McMahon pounded off her arms just to be cleaned up by her fullbacks. It was great ball management from one end of the field to the other that allowed Thunder to pull away to 2-0 before the Warriors showed them they were not done by converting a brilliant cross into a goal in expert fashion with much game time remaining.
With the Thunder backfield closing the door on the attacking Warriors, the midfield eventually found the opposition fatigued and scored twice more to close the game out. Molly Mifsud, after playing well for one half in the midfield, kept the game within reason with solid goalkeeping.
The game proved that wins versus the Warriors will only be more difficult in the future as they showed signs that they are becoming more confident and familiar with each other. It also indicated that the Thunder has found a way to win against physically stronger teams and that they can rapidly reverse the flow of a game when supported by tenacious D.
– CVUSC Thunder