NISS girls third at soccer tourney

Secondary School girls soccer club kicked off its season

Secondary School girls soccer club kicked off its season with a third-place finish and Port Hardy Secondary placed sixth in the 11th Annual Carihi Secondary Invitational Tournament March 26 in Campbell River.

Randi Ward scored one goal and assisted on Heather McKenzie’s game-winner as NISS outdueled Timberline Secondary of Campbell River 2-1 in the third-place contest. Goalkeeper Madison Guldager was presented the team’s MVP award after posting an opening-round shutout and winning two games in the one-day tourney.

“Madison really stood on her head in this (third-place) game,” coach Greg Muirhead said.

After dropping its opening game, 5-0 to Mark Isfeld Secondary of Comox, Port Hardy earned a dramatic, 2-1 shoot-out win over Carihi Junior to earn a spot in the fourth-sixth place final.

Jasmine Hunt, whose second-half goal tied the game 1-1, nailed the clinching shoot-out goal after keeper Jude Dondaneau-Walkus stopped Carihi’s final attempt. Felicia Robertson also scored for the Whalers in the shoot-out. The team went on to face G.P. Vanier Secondary of Courtenay and suffered a 4-0 loss in the fourth-place final.

“This was a good eye-opener for them,” PHSS coach Mike Cleary said of his small squad, which has struggled to get sufficient numbers of players out for practice.

“Hopefully this will motivate them to continue going forward; otherwise, this’ll be their season.”

The tournament was won by the host Carihi ‘A’ team, with a 2-0 victory over Mark Isfeld. Carihi also entered its ‘B’ and Junior teams to fill out the eight-team bracket, but there was plenty of stout competition between the six senior teams.

NISS opened the tourney with a 5-0 romp over Carihi Junior, getting two goals each from Ward and Kerrigan Sharpe and another score from Madison Tremblay. The Norsemen then ran into a red-hot Isfeld team in the semifinals and suffered a 4-0 loss.

Isfeld and Carihi A were locked in a scoreless duel for 56 minutes of the 60 minute final, until the Tyees’ Lisa Eberlein scored back-to-back goals in the final four minutes.