Up against some powerful competition, the host Duncan Christian School Chargers were wellaware that the 1A Island girls soccer championships would make for a tough tournament, but their performance left nothing on the field.
"The tournament was great for the girls," coach Leanne Vanderschaaf said. "We knew it would be a tough fight, and we left the day with our heads held high."
Vanderschaaf was especially impressed with the way her key players stepped up in the tournament.
"Becky Bazinet, our keeper and captain, held our team together and was a beast in net," she said. "Her leadership on this team will be missed as she graduates this year."
DCS bowed out of the tournament after a 3-1 loss to North Island Secondary in the semifinals.
"Our last game against NISS was a great game for the girls even though the end score may not be what we had hoped for," Vanderschaaf said. "The girls were able to play their game, and work together as a team."
The Chargers have a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future, thanks to the play of younger players like Miranda Wood and Rachelle Van Boven.
"Miranda and Rachelle were huge assets when our lead goal scorer Mikayla Cook was injured part way through our season," Vanderschaaf said. "These two girls met the back of the net numerous times throughout the season and tournament."
NISS and Glenlyon Norfolk will get the Island berths at the provincial championship, but the Chargers were in the mix, and have lots to be proud of.
"This team is an incredible group of girls," Vanderschaaf said. "We may not be off to provincials but we are all still smiling and proud of this season."
In round-robin play, DCS defeated Lake Cowichan 6-0 on three goals by Lauren King-Nyberg, two by Zoey Alyward and one by Wood, while Katrina Climie had two assists and Van Boven registered one. The Chargers lost 9-0 to GNS, the eventual tournament champions.
Bazinet’s play in goal kept DCS in the semifinal against NISS, and King-Nyberg had a late goal for the Chargers.
Tournament all-stars included Bazinet, King-Nyberg, Cook, Carli Paterson and Jordyn Halloran from DCS, and Carmen Brooks, Nicole Johel, Rhiannon McKeown Ferris, Ashley Vomacka and Justine Carlow from Lake Cowichan.