Elgin Park Secondary striker Brooklyn Tidder celebrates a goal against Panorama Ridge Thursday during the Fraser Valley senior girls AAA finals at Newton Athletic Park.

Undefeated Orcas beat Thunder for Valley soccer title

Elgin Park defeated Panorama Ridge 3-1 Thursday to finish first in Fraser Valley.

The Elgin Park Orcas’ senior girls soccer team picked the perfect time to hand the Panorama Ridge Thunder their first loss in two years.

Last Thursday at Newton Athletic Park, the Orcas defeated their Surrey opponents 3-1 in the final game of the Fraser Valley Championships, dethroning the defending champs, while also securing a top berth at upcoming provincials.

B.C. Senior Girls AAA Soccer Championships are set to begin May 28 in Victoria, and Elgin Park – who are undefeated this season – is expected to be the top seed in the 16-team tournament.

Prior to the win over Panorama Ridge, the Orcas defeated No. 4-ranked Charles Best Secondary.

“Watching this group of girls come up (from the younger age groups), I’ve said for the last couple of years that we’d go to provincials, and we had a shot to win it if we made the commitment,” said Elgin Park coach Bruce Filsinger. “And so far, so good.”

The Fraser Valley title was made more impressive considering Elgin Park took on the Thunder without four key starters, due to injuries, provincial-team tryouts or other commitments.

“We have phenomenal depth,” Filsinger said. “We can basically field a team that is all (high-performance league) players.”

That depth was certainly on display Thursday, as the Orcas jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half, and limited Panorama’s scoring chances.

“Their only goal was scored off a set play, and we really held them to just a couple good opportunities,” Filsinger explained. “And we have a number ourselves – we hit a few posts.”

Brooklyn Tidder led the Orcas’ offensive attack with two goals, but Filsinger was loath to heap praise on any select player.

“It really was just a strong team effort. It wasn’t just one or two girls dominating out there for us,” he said.

The Orcas will be making their first appearance at provincials since 2009; that year, they qualified after edging the South Delta Secondary Sun Devils in the Valley final.

Though this year’s team may not have any prior experience at senior soccer provincials, Filsinger said his team has no shortage of championship experience. Many of the girls on the squad are multi-sport athletes, he pointed out, and have played in B.C. championships in basketball and volleyball.

“You just never know how these things will go,” said Filsinger. “It’s not always about which team has the best players, it’s about who comes out and plays on a particular day.

“But if we have everybody there, and we play like we did (against Panorama Ridge), we will be a very difficult team to beat.”

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