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EMS senior girls soccer squad wins berth to provincials

AAA soccer squad makes it to B.C. championships for 1st time in 20 years
The Earl Marriott Secondary senior girls soccer Mariners have won a berth to AAA provincials for the first time in 20 years. (Contributed photo)

The Earl Marriott senior girls soccer squad is headed to provincials in AAA action — for the first time in two decades.

EMS athletic director Russ Heggie said both the junior and senior Mariners girls soccer teams had an excellent year, with both finishing second in their divisions before competing in the South Fraser zone championships, where the seniors earned their first berth in girls soccer provincials since 2004.

“We were able to involve a lot of the junior team in senior team games. I think a lot of credit goes to the support (of) the junior team … they were able to give us some more depth,” Heggie said Tuesday (May 21).

He noted a core group of players who also play club-level soccer as well as other sports, in addition to academics and other extra-curricular activities, made a commitment to play this year, and that was likely a factor.

Although the junior team lost to Sullivan Heights in the South Fraser tournament, the senior team won the last AAA spot to provincials with an exciting 2-1 extra time win over their Fleetwood rivals.

READ ALSO: Southridge School wins silver medal in Girls ‘A’ soccer provincials

‘As a result of their hard work — fortunately, for the final game — the senior team won in extra time in dramatic fashion against Fleetwood Park,” Heggie said.

The score for the game was 1-0 until about the last 10 minutes, when Mia Louden scored a “beautiful left-footed shot from about 35 yards out and managed to put it top corner.”

Grade 9 goalkeeper Arwynn Houchen was an extremely strong presence in goal, Heggie noted, and also praised centre-backs Natalia Phillips and Addison Bailey as well as wingers Scarlett McNeely and Juliette Lambert, who were “dynamic all game, running from down the wing, crossing, attacking and defending,” and added two Grade 8 players were on defense for the whole game.

In extra time, with almost no time left, Anna Blair — after finishing a rugby game — set up the winning goal with no time left, with Elyssa Albidrez scoring the game winner into the bottom corner right before the ref blew the whistle to end extra time.

“It was definitely a collective effort — their commitment to the sport, to the school and to each other,” Heggie said. “Hats off to them!”

AAA Girls Soccer Provincials will be hosted by Sullivan Heights at Cloverdale Athletic Park May 29-31, with competitors including South Delta, Sullivan Heights and McMath secondary schools. AA girls soccer provincials happen in Burnaby the same dates, while AAA provincials take place in Kamloops May 30-June 1.

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Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’ve worked as a journalist in community newspapers from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey.
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