The CVUSC U12 Girls Thunder played their hearts out in the finals of the U13 Girls Coastal C Cup this past weekend in Coquitlam against the SDL Red Herrings and came away with the silver medal.
“If I had to use one word to describe this game it would be ‘character,'” said coach Ash Mohtadi. “That day, from the minute the girls walked onto the pitch, they demonstrated endless strength of character, drive, determination, team work and spirit.
This strength of character for Team Thunder (sponsored by Tenth Street Chiropractic) showed in the warm-up as the skies closed in and the hail started to pour down.
“The girls were so focused on their warm-up that it was only after the hail stated to hurt that they decided to exit the field for the shelter of the dugout, and then quickly got back out as the rain followed the hail,” Mohtadi said.
The first half the game went end to end with neither side being able to penetrate the other’s defence. Thunder’s stingy defence of Rachel, Jayden, Natalie, Abbie and Olivia challenged the strikers and attacked every ball with boundless tenacity and gave up only long range chances which were easily saved by Camryn.
At the other end Madeline and Zoe moved the ball wide, driving booming crosses into the box for Cypress and Grace, but the Red Herring goalkeeper was quick to save any shots on goal.
In the second half, the size and strength of the older Red Herring girls started to tell and they were able to pressure the Thunder in their own end, finally striking a ball into the back of Thunder’s net after Danielle made two heroic initial saves.
With five minutes to go in regulation time, the Red Herrings could sense victory and prepared to pop the champagne (or iced tea and juice). Not so fast, said the Thunder, and with a quick throw in and a give and go, Charlotte, Nikola, and Eyla teamed up to play the ball through to Haley who only had one purpose in mind – score.
And score she did, driving a low shot into the corner of the Herring’s net to an eruption of cheers by the players and fans. This put the game into overtime at 1-1. Gaining strength from this late goal, the Thunder took control of the final 20 minutes and pressured minute after minute, claiming corner after corner. Unfortunately no late goal came, and at the 90th minute the referee signaled for penalty kicks. With smiles on their faces and joy in their eyes the girls lined up, took their kicks but it was not to be on this day. The Herrings went ahead and never looked back.
“When it was all over there were only smiles, hugs, and laughter from the CVUSC girls who had played in the game of their lives, realizing it was the experience that made them winners regardless of the colour of the medal,” Mohtadi said. “But just wait until next year,” he added.
“The coaching staff of Annie Ledlin, Sandy and Liza Grant, Marla Bates and Ash Mohtadi would like to thank the players and families for making this inaugural year into rep soccer a real thrill,” a team spokesperson said.