It would be a churlish fan indeed who didn`t look forward to the U13 girls soccer match between the CVUSC Thunder and Campbell River Breakers this past Sunday in Campbell River.
The previous tilt began with the Breakers pouring the attack on early with the Thunder surging in the second half leaving the fans, as usual, exhausted from excessive cheering and hand wringing. The two opposing sides again did not disappoint, as the Breakers early attack placed the Thunder firmly on their heels.
As the visitors searched for a solution the Breakers dashed through the midfield and placed hard shots on net. It was the cool-headed keeper Brooke Zawislake who kept the Thunder from being down at least one goal early with excellent positioning and saves on the short and crowded pitch. They soon had time to regroup when Lizzie Watson appeared to take over the midfield by refusing to allow any Breaker player a touch on the ball without a serious and audible challenge.
Jayden Grant and Natalie Blecha then took control and settled the backfield down with brilliant ball management allowing Charlotte Mohtadi and Justine McMahon to push the pressure up field. As the rest of the squad followed the charge, the Breakers found themselves spread thin in the middle of the pitch.
As the Thunder rolled up the field Zoe Nilson, Rachel Heselgrave, Brynne Ziegler and Olivia Bates began winning the vast majority of tackles then shredded the defence with crisp passes and crosses. Grace Denham-clare and Nikola Montgomery kept the defence guessing as their runs created gaps in the Breaker wall for them and their partners to penetrate with shots and dangerous passes, all this leaving the Breaker backfield broken.
Moments later in the first half it was double trouble, as Haley Smith and Camryn Curts turned on their jets. The visiting fans got their relief when Nilson outmuscled a Breaker midfielder for control and passed wide to Ziegler who carried the ball quickly toward the opposing 18-yard marker. She then finessed a perfect pass into the danger zone which Smith touched once for control and then with clinical precision broke the draw. Were it not for C.R. keeper Mackenzie Paddington making save after save the fans could have relaxed. Her fearless defence of the final yard was outstanding, but nothing short of brickwork would stop Camryn from peppering shots at the net to finally get the 2-0 lead. Curts and Smith used their speed and timing to repeatedly find holes and maintain pressure, served well by a team bent on winning every challenge.
Again the soccer community was served a brilliant match with excellent sporting behaviour by both teams and coaching staff, as the fans one and all left smiling with somewhat raspy voices yet again.
– CVUSC Thunder U13 Girls Select Soccer