For the first time in five years, Southridge Storm’s senior girls soccer team was knocked from atop their perch as the top team in the Fraser Valley.
Last Tuesday, the South Surrey single-A squad was edged by the Langley Christian Lightning in the championship tilt, losing on penalty kicks after finishing regulation and overtime tied 2-2.
“It was a good run, and we could’ve kept it going – we had the chances,” said Southridge coach Gordon Smith.
Southridge jumped out to an early 2-0 lead – both goals were scored by team captain Laura Podmore – but Langley Christian tied the game in the second half, and nothing was resolved after a 15-minute overtime session.
Langley edged Southridge on penalty kicks, 5-4 – Lightning goalkeeper Hannah Miller’s stop on the second Storm shot proved to be the difference.
“One of the things I said to the girls this year was … we were tired of always going to Southridge’s field for the Fraser Valley final and watching them get the medals,” said Langley Christian coach Gregg Antoniuk.
“And so, I said this is our year, this is the year we are going to do it. And it worked out.”
Both teams – along with Langley’s Credo Christian, who placed third – will represent the Fraser Valley at provincial championships, which are to be hosted by Southridge May 28-30.
With a host berth, rather than a Fraser Valley spot, the Storm will enter the provincial fray with the lower seed of the three teams, Smith said.
“We’ll go in as the underdog this time,” he said. “But no matter where you’re ranked or what the draw is, it doesn’t really matter. If you want to win the provincials, you have to beat everybody at some point anyhow.”
– with files from Gary Ahuja