After eight months of training and preparations, the sweat has paid off.
The U15 Upper Island Riptide girls are heading to their first appearance at the B.C. soccer championships in Surrey in July. The team has also qualified to compete in the Coastal Cup, which starts mid-April in Comox.
Two weekends ago, the girls beat Victoria south 2-0 in a semi-final game. They then beat Victoria North 3-2 in the finals.
“The final game had everything you would expect,” a team spokesperson said. “Emotions, intensity, physicality, grit, perseverance and fans that made the 12th player.”
The first half was basically a scoreless chess match. Victoria scored at minute 48, but Riptide midfielder Meaghan Linegar equalized at the 53rd minute on a penalty shot.
Meaghan struck again at minute 60, slotting a shot from just inside the Victoria 18-yard line. Victoria evened the score at minute 74.
About five minutes later, the Riptide earned a corner kick. The ball squirted out to a defender who lobbed the ball over Victoria’s back line. Striker Kassi Ackinclose pounced on the opportunity and scored the winner.
“This is an incredible accomplishment for the girls. At the beginning of the season head coach Shawn Fiddick spoke to the girls about what it takes to get to this level – something the team all bought into.”
The U18 Riptide boys team has also qualified for provincials.