Duncan Christian School had its strongest team in years going into the single-A girls soccer Island championships hosted by Queen Margaret’s School last week.
Unfortunately for the Chargers and the QMS Royals, the other teams were also stronger than they’ve been in years.
“It was competitive this year,” said Taylor Linz, who has coached the DCS girls for five years. “The calibre was so high. It was neat to see with single-A schools. We are used to some of them being quite strong, but this year all of them were quite strong.”
The Chargers included several provincial-level and gold-level players this year, and envisioned finishing in the top three on the Island so they could qualify for the B.C. championships.
“We were hoping for a provincial berth,” Linz said. “We had our eyes set on it.”
The Chargers lost their tournament opener on Thursday morning 6-1 against Port Hardy, getting their lone goal from Chelsea Davy, then were shut out 6-0 by Glenlyon Norfolk that afternoon. In the fifth-place game on Friday morning, the Chargers defeated the host Royals 7-1 behind two-goal performances from Jaymie Brandsma, Kevannah Thorne and Maiya Modeste, with Mollie Corbett adding the other.
The lopsided scores in the Thursday matches were by no means the fault of goalie Chloe Bruce, who was named to the tournament all-star team.
“We have a strong goaltender, so it’s not like we were letting in wimpy goals,” Linz commented.
The Chargers have three graduating players this year: Modeste, Mariah Thomas and Ebonie Elliott, and Linz is also heading to a different school, but she believes the team has a bright future.
“Our three Grade 12s are very strong,” the coach said. “We will definitely feel that loss next year. We have quite a few young, keen girls. They are keen to play, they know the game, and have some skill. It’s something to look forward to for future seasons.”
The host Royals lost both their pool games on Friday, 7-0 to St. Andrew’s and 6-0 to North Island before losing to DCS in the fifth-place game. Grade 8 player Jarrett Elliott scored for QMS against DCS.
“It was a great tournament,” Royals coach Stacy Paton said. “The QMS girls worked hard and developed as a team and were fantastic representatives of the school. We are proud of how hard they worked and supported each other on the field. Renata Lopez Plasencia, our goalkeeper, had never played in goal before and really shone as a star for QMS. We received positive feedback from the visiting schools who enjoyed their time in Cowichan and we look forward to hosting our next tournament.”