Southridge Storm’s Grade 8-9 capped off an impressive run through the Fraser Valley championships with a 3-1 loss Nov. 21 to Tamanawis.
The second-place finish was a best-ever mark for Southridge’s youngest soccer team – older teams have won several banners – and though playing in a championship game was exciting, the real highlight came one game earlier, in semifinals, when the Storm edged a powerhouse Enver Creek Cougars team in a shootout.
Trailing Enver Creek 1-0, Southridge tied the game when a Liam Fraser free kick deflected off a Cougar defender and into the net. Minutes later, however, the Cougars returned the favour to re-take the lead by halftime.
In the second half, the Storm – spurred forward after a halftime speech from head coach Pedro DeNobriga – tied the game on a goal from Matt Kennell, and when neither team could score the go-ahead marker, the game was sent to extra time.
In overtime, Southridge went up by one when Ty Westgard scored – finishing off a play started by Fraser – but Enver Creek knotted the game at 3-3 with less than a minute to play.
Before the penalty kicks began, DeNobriga, playing a hunch, substituted centre-back Sam Chan for goalkeeper Hunter Hughes – who had played well all game – and the move paid off, as Southridge edged their Surrey rivals by a single goal.
Kennell, Fraser and Spencer Millard scored for the Storm in the shootout.