Feb. 2 at the Vanier turf, the U15 girls Upper Island Riptide soccer team faced the Nanaimo Storm, the top team in the U15/16 division.
Entering the match, the U16 Storm had a record of 11-2-1.
Three days earlier, Riptide coach Shawn Fiddick brought in retired professional player Ciara McCormack, who spoke to the girls about what it takes to reach the next level. She also helped motivate them prior to making a provincial run.
The game started strong from both sides with plenty of possessional play at both ends. At minute 32, Riptide striker Kassie Ackinclose opened the scoring from inside the six-yard box when a scrambling ball made its way to her foot. She made no mistake and buried it without question.
The Storm — which didn’t seemed bothered by the score to start the second half — equalized at the 55th minute. Four minutes later, the Riptide was awarded a corner kick. A cross from defender Hanna Jennings found its way to team captain Jessica Postle, whose one touch off her thigh to her foot found its way to the back of the net. The game was 2-1 with 30 minutes remaining. As the battle continued, it was all left on the pitch with the Storm losing its second game all season.
Well done girls, and thank you Ciara McCormack.