The U13 Comox Valley United soccer select girls ‘Wild Ones’ team played Bays United at the Island Cup Championship last month in Powell River. This was a high-paced, action-packed game where the Wild Ones fell in a 6-3 loss. With only two subs compared to the Bays’ six, the Wild Ones had to dig deep and played with heart and passion. The Bays scored three quick goals against the flow, which certainly shook the girls. However, true to their consistent playing and intense effort all season, the Wild Ones adjusted quickly and settled in nicely. At the 20-minute mark, defender Caitlyn Follis joined the play with midfielder MacKenzie Stevens, which led to a 3v2, multiple give-and-go situation. This resulted with a through ball to a well positioned Elena Bonneau, who buried the ball to make it 3-1.
At the beginning of the second half it was 4-1 for Bays, but the Wild Ones had most of the possession. The defence of Hannah Barrios (who received game MVP), Sarah Messana and Caitlyn Follis stood their ground well and limited the scoring chances. Hannah’s speed and strength were often unmatched during the game. She spoiled many 2v1 situations and was able to quickly to move the ball up field. Sarah’s intensity and never-give-up play caused The Bays a lot havoc. Caitlyn’s consistent and intelligent playing once again stood out and were true to form. Monet Ghinis made numerous saves throughout the game which kept the team in it for most of the game.
With consistent pressure from midfielders, striker MacKenzie Stevens scored twice in the second half. The first goal was contributed by persistent pressuring by Sydney Howe. Sydney caused the defender to give up the ball where MacKenzie pounced on it, drove to the net and put it away. Cassandra Campbell was a force up high. Whenever Cassandra gets the ball she is an immediate threat and attracts two, sometimes three defenders. Cassandra literally played until she could not play anymore — she had to be helped off the field due to an aggressive tackle.
Bays scored a fifth goal to make it 5-2, which could have been a turning point for the Wild Ones to simply let the game play out and not keep pushing back. Instead, in true Wild One fashion, the girls were tenacious and competed until the end. Daelyn Kroon and Carley Tutt held the right side of the field during the second half. With Daelyn playing midfield and Carly on defence, they had their shared of action and played a solid game. Daelyn also did not hesitate to join the attack up high and cause The Bays some grief.
The third Wild Ones goal came after a prolonged possession of the ball and once again pressing high into the Bays defending third. MacKenzie was able to capitalize on a true team effort and made it 5-3. The last 8-10 minutes was a true grind as the Wild Ones were down a player. They had to dig deep and endure the wave of fresh legs coming off the Bays bench. Although they scored a sixth and deciding goal, The Wild Ones did not stop competing for a moment. The team talk at the beginning of the game and at the half was about being brave in their play and having no regrets. The girls all walked off the field at the end of the game satisfied they had accomplished those two goals.
All 10 girls were true competitors, played as a team, and demonstrated ultimate sportsmanship.
Coaches Brian, Sam and Anita thank the parents who made the trip. Over the years, this group of parents have been so supportive of this team and this was no exception.
“We were the loudest cheerers – it was fantastic to hear throughout the game.”