Kelsey plays to best-ever finish, Shawnigan wins consolation

The Frances Kelsey Breakers played to their best finish ever at a provincial field hockey championship.

The Frances Kelsey Breakers played to their best finish ever at a provincial field hockey championship last weekend, placing sixth, as well as being the runner up for the fair play award, which went to 16th-place Chilliwack.

“To make it into the top eight was awesome,” coach Ali Andersen said. “The girls worked hard all year to try to get a good result at provincials. We were definitely a team to contend with.”

Already guaranteed of a top-eight finish, Kelsey faced Cowichan in the first round of the playoffs and lost 1-0.

“Unfortunately, our pools crossed over,” Andersen said. “We were really hoping for a first-place finish in our pool, because first played second, and we were hoping to avoid playing them.”

The score of the game against Cowichan could have been 8-0 if not for the outstanding play of goalie Amy Osmond, Andersen noted.

Kelsey bounced back to beat West Vancouver 2-0, then, despite a depleted roster, only lost 1-0 to Gleneagle in the fifth/sixth game. Among Kelsey’s best players in the tournament was sweeper Helen Brancato, who Andersen called “fundamental” to the team’s performance.

Goalie Osmond is one of three players graduating, although Grade 8 player Niki Leech is waiting in the wings. The team will also lose Marina Ellison and Rachel Price.

“I’m looking forward to next year,” Andersen said. “It will be exciting, especially since our girls had the goal of wanting to be a contender this year, and they did it. People are always talking about Cowichan, and they deserve it, but we want people to start saying ‘Kelsey, Kelsey, Kelsey. Look out for them.’”

The defending champions from 2014 Shawnigan Lake School missed the top eight by a single goal, but won their last three games to win the consolation bracket and place ninth.

“Despite the disappointment of not coming in the top portion, I’m happy for the girls that they ended on a high,” coach Kelly Koepp said.

Shawnigan needed to tie Kelowna in the last game of the round robin in order to advance to the top eight, but lost 2-1.

“If we had just kept that second goal out, we would have been in the top half,” Koepp said. “It was a tough lesson to learn.”

Even in the consolation bracket, Shawnigan didn’t have any easy games. They had to get past Churchill, then South Delta, for whom there were similarly high expectations, and finally Heritage Woods, who they beat in a sudden-death shootout after the teams ended regulation tied 0-0.

Although Shawnigan won the AAA title in 2014, the team went through a lot of roster turnover and barely resembled the squad from a year ago.

“From a coaching perspective, it was one of the most rewarding seasons because the girls came so far,” Koepp said. “Individually and as a group, they made the biggest strides.”

This year’s team will lose six Grade 12s, four of whom were starters, and some of the team’s best players at the provincial tournament, including goalie Leigh Campbell and captain Tai Williams. Other top performers for the team were Annika Kleinschmidt, Noa Wischmann, and Amelia Macintosh, a Grade 9 student and the youngest player on the team.

All three local coaches commented on the benefits of hosting the tournament together, and the way the Vancouver Island and Cowichan Valley field hockey communities came together to make it happen.

“Even though Island field hockey is smaller than in Vancouver, we probably had just as many volunteers and participation and people who were passionate about it,” Koepp said.


Just Posted

Island Health dementia video series wins awards

Sharing the Journey: Practical Approaches to Caring for a Loved One With Dementia

Chemistry there, but offence lacking for Fury

Cowichan falls to Vic West 2-0

VIDEO: In time for gift giving: Buddy’s Holly Jolly Christmas show in Cowichan

Ben Klein as Elvis, Cassandra Frie as Brenda Lee join Zachary Stevenson in a great evening of music

LMG stymied in shocking draw

‘One-way traffic’ for 94 minutes but Cowichan can’t score

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read