A single loss in the third game of the tournament was all that bumped the Southridge Storm’s senior boys soccer team from contention at single-A provincials last week in Kamloops.
“It was a brief but crucial blip,” said Southridge head coach Gordon Smith, of his squad’s 3-1 loss to Vancouver’s West Point Grey Academy Grey Wolves.
Prior to the loss to the Wolves, the Storm – who were seeded first in their four-team pool – had beaten Enderby’s A.L. Fortune 2-0 Thursday to begin the tournament, and followed with a 5-1 win over Osoyoos.
The loss to the Grey Wolves knocked them from contention; the 16-team tournament was formatted in such a way that only pool-winners had a shot at finishing in the top four spots overall. Those who finished second in the four pools then battled for spots fifth through eighth.
“We need a tie or a win against West Point Grey in order to finish first, and we had a chance to take the lead in that game when it was tied 1-1, but it didn’t happen, and then they came back and scored and that was it,” Smith said. “It was a bit of an upset, but that’s what happens sometimes.”
Alex Huxtable had the lone Storm goal in the loss, and he had four in the tourney – he scored a hat trick against Osoyoos.
Against A.L. Fortune in the opener, Alex Dobbie led the way with both goals, while Josh Mays-Quinn earned the shutout in net.
In the fifth-place game, Southridge edged Langley’s Credo Christian 1-0.
Though they had hoped to finish in the top three spots, Smith was still happy with a top-five finish.
“After the first day, we were hearing from other people who thought we had a chance to win it, and we’d seen the other teams, too, and were feeling good about our chances,” he said.
Southridge also won Fraser Valley championships in October, which Smith called “a significant achievement.”
“Last year, the team didn’t qualify for provincials at all, and the year before we were 16th, so this gets the program back on the right track.”