Niki Virk (left) of Fleetwood Park and Elgin Park’s Kristin Fairbairn battle for a ball during Valley finals.

‘The torch is in good hands’ says Elgin Park soccer coach

Elgin Park Secondary senior girls soccer coach reflects on season, fourth-place provincial finish.

It was by no means an easy road, but the Elgin Park Orcas wrapped up the senior girls’ soccer season on a high note, finishing as the fourth-best team in the province.

The top-five finish at B.C. AAA championships – the team’s second in as many seasons, after also placing fourth at last year’s tournament – was a testament to the players’ resolve, according to coach Chris Ellett.

This year’s squad, he explained, was full of untested players after losing seven players to graduation last season, yet they still ran through the regular-season undefeated, with the team’s only loss coming in the Fraser Valley finals when they lost to the eventual provincial-champion Fleetwood Park Dragons.

At provincials – held in South Delta from June 2-4 – the Orcas won two games on opening day, beating Correlieu Secondary 6-2 on the strength of four goals from Alyssa Hunt, and following that with a 3-1 win over Charles Best.

Day 2, however, was a tougher test, as the team was struck by “illness, injury and grad,” Ellett said; the tournament schedule coincided with the school’s graduation dinner, which meant the team played without all its Grade 12s.

Elgin Park, playing with 13 remaining players – many of them sick, injured or called up from the school’s younger grades – lost the game 2-1 to South Kamloops, but the team’s lone goal – which came late in the game via penalty kick – was just enough to boost the Orcas into top spot in their pool as a result of goal differential.

Ellett called the marker – scored by Grade 8 Jaymie Caldwell – “the biggest goal of our season.”

The first-place finish propelled the team into semifinals, where – still shorthanded and sick – Elgin Park narrowly dropped a 1-0 game to Handsworth.

Despite the loss, Ellett called it “the most impressive effort I have seen by our team in the 10 years I’ve been coaching.”

“They left it all out on the field,” he added, while singling out goalkeeper Kayla Johnson for her “heroic” work in net against Handsworth.

In the bronze-medal game on Saturday afternoon, the Orcas were defeated by the hosts from South Delta Secondary.

While at first leery about his team’s “handing the torch” off to its younger players after their successful run in 2015, Ellett said the team’s provincial run quelled any fears he might have had.

“It’s clear to me the torch is in good hands moving forward,” he said.

Just Posted

Surrey burglar loses appeal on Hook & Ladder break-in conviction

The case centred on a Jan. 3, 2016 break-in at the Newton pub

‘Inventive ideas’ sought soon for Surrey One Act Festival, set to return to Whalley stage

Also planned by Royal Canadian Theatre Company is a Five Minute Play Writing Challenge

U.S. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into Canada, granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Bus driver assault in Vancouver once again raises safety concerns

A 49-year-old Surrey man was released on a promise to appear in court. No charge has been laid

Mayors, First Nations chiefs, urge ‘immediate action’ on new Massey crossing

Joint letter asks province to move up timeline, consider only eight-lane tunnel options

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR

RCMP believe the foreign national is part of a larger organized theft group

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver for rider complaints

TransLink releases list, with Route 319 at the top

Amber alert issued for 5-year-old Ontario boy

Ethan Montes is believed to be in the company of his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

VIDEO: Highway One to be widened east to 264th Street in Fraser Valley

The $235 million project includes upgrades to overpasses and a rail bridge

Port Moody mayor accused of sexual assault has first court appearance

Rob Vagramov’s case was adjourned to May 29

Most Read

l -->