The U18 boys Riptide soccer team was runner-up at the A-Cup Provincial Championships. Photo supplied

U18s cap stellar season by reaching B.C. final

The U18 boys Riptide soccer team had an exquisite 2018/19 season, cruising through on top of the table.

They only lost one game all season to their all-time rivals, Bays Peninsula. Mid-way through the season, the Riptide competed at two high-level tournaments in Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, Wash. The tourneys didn’t go as well as planned, but when the boys got home, they were determined to get better. They worked harder than ever to get better and it paid off. They marched into playoffs after a long season starting off against the Nanaimo Storm. A comfortable 3-0 victory saw the Riptide through to the Island final against Bays Peninsula — the team they had lost to the year before in the Island final. A hard fought game and a late winner from Seth Hanuse sealed the deal. Riptide became Island champions, and qualified for the Coastal Cup as well as provincials.

The Coastal Cup tournament gives teams an opportunity to see who they might play in provincials. Riptide won two games in the cup but the road ran short when they lost 2-1 to CCB in the semi-finals. The start of the provincial campaign began with their first game against CCB Elite. Riptide was hungry for redemption. After a physical game, the boys found a breakthrough. Chris Fisher whipped in a long free kick from half, finished by Nathan Chow to give Riptide the lead. Strong defence led by Josef Dirom, Keaton Fougere, Brady Assu and Dylan Robertson kept the game at 1-0, giving Riptide the advantage of the tournament. The next day, the U18s played defending provincial champion Port Moody. Although they played hard, they came up short losing 2-0. Next up was Kelowna — a team they had previously lost to in the tournament in Vancouver. Winning this game would give them a guaranteed spot in the provincial finals. Kelowna scored first but losing wasn’t an option for Riptide. They bounced back, tying the game from a free kick from half taken by Keaton Fougere. Adding to the score sheet was Corson Arbour and Josh Rolland. Leading 3-1, keeper Mark Herasemluk went down with a shoulder injury, forcing Jackson Bowles to step up. The game ended 3-2, sending Riptide to the finals against Port Moody. Riptide tried their best but Port Moody came up superior once again. Riptide left the tournament with heads held high, proud of what they had accomplished.

On behalf of the Riptide Soccer Club, the boys would like to recognize and thank Ken Garraway at Investors Group, Dave Stover at Two Rivers Meats, UISA, CRYSA, CVUSC, PRYSA, as well as our biggest sponsor throughout the years Mowi for their donations as well as support throughout the season.

Also a special thanks to Steve Hall, who does not have a kid on the team. He has given up countless weekends and thousands of hours not only coaching us on the field, but also shaping us into the young men that we are today. From all of lads, we cannot thank you enough.

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