A new banner is going up on the wall at Southridge School.
And it comes courtesy of the South Surrey private school’s senior girls soccer squad, which captured a B.C. AA soccer championship last weekend in Kelowna, after a 2-0 victory over the defending champions from Victoria’s Glenlyon-Norfolk School.
“We hadn’t had a lot of really close games in the Fraser Valley during the season, so it was hard to judge (how we’d do at provincials),” said Southridge coach Gordon Smith. “But we knew we were going in with a shot to win it.”
The provincial championship was the first for the Storm’s senior girls soccer team since 2007.
The Storm got off to an impressive start at the provincial tournament, routing G.M. Dawson (Haida Gwaii) in their opening game by a 20-0 score, and won their second tilt against Nakusp, 9-1.
In quarter-finals, Southridge faced off against Osoyoos Secondary, and again rolled to a lopsided win, this time a 7-0 shutout. The victory set up a rematch of last year’s semifinal, against the host school, Immaculata.
The semifinals proved to be the first real challenge for the South Surrey squad, but they narrowly escaped the back-and-forth affair with a 1-0 win.
Katie Bishop scored the game’s lone goal, finishing off a play which was started by a free kick from midfielder Shannon Fraser.
Immaculata mounted a late charge to tie the game, but Storm keeper Claire Pak – who made a handful of big saves throughout the game – shut the door, with the help of her defence.
“That was our first really close game. It was touch-and-go there for a bit,” Smith said.
Pak again shone in the championship tilt against Glenlyon-Norfolk, stopping an early breakaway to keep the game scoreless in the early stages.
The game remained knotted at 0-0 through regulation time – despite offensive chances for both squads picking up in the second half – and the game then moved into two periods of overtime.
In the first OT session, Bishop put the Storm up 1-0, converting a through ball from Shannon Terrell.
In the second overtime, Bishop again figured into the scoring, but this time in a setup role. She made a cross-pass to Carina Lauzon, who headed the ball into the net to seal the 2-0 victory.
Lauzon’s marker gave her 16 on the weekend, earning her the Golden Boot award as the tournament’s leading scorer.
Julia Lauzon, meanwhile, was named tournament MVP for her efforts on the backline.
“Winning provincials means a lot, particularly for the Grade 12s – we have five of them. They’ve been looking towards this since they were in Grade 8,” Smith said.