The Marine Harvest Upper Island Riptide U18 Girls earned gold medals at provincials with a hard fought sudden death overtime win.
“This has been an extra-ordinary season with a diverse group of young ladies that all have potential for bright futures and the ability to do whatever you set your minds towards achieving,” said Team Manager Johanne Moreau via a press release provided to the Gazette.
“This season saw us through many emotional roller-coasters and I hope you are left with life-long friendships and many positive memories that you can look back on for the rest of your life.”
Moreau continued on, stating the team’s style of play on the field at the BC Provincial A-Cup Gold medal final was “one of players that knew and trusted each other. Many of you have been together for years and it takes years to build what you accomplished today.”
All told, the U18 Riptide Girls went undefeated in round-robin play, earning themselves nine points at the BC Soccer Provincial A-Cup Championship, before continuing on to win 1-0 in overtime in the final to capture gold.
Winning provincials wasn’t the only highlight of the girls season, officially achieved this season:
No losses from September to July 2017-2018;
Undefeated with shut-outs in every game to capture division championship title at Starfire Showcase Tournament;
Vancouver Island Premier League U18 Girls League Champions with all wins except two ties; and
U18 Girls Coastal Cup Champions.
“We have nine girls graduating from high school this year, five advancing to post-secondary on student-athletic scholarships literally across Canada and South of the Boarder,” noted Moreau, adding, “Several of those in Grade 11 are already exploring Post-Secondary Scholarship opportunities. Two players have been to Denmark to study soccer for a year and one is currently on her way.”
Moreau added a thank you message in the press release, which you can read below:
“Scott and Shel you have been amazingly supportive of our players. Understandably it has been a challenge to work around our players’ kaleidoscope of other interests and conflicting schedules, but you’ve coached them very well and that effort was ultimately realized today. Sabine, you are rock solid and everyone depends on your comfort and care so that they can get back to play. We are indeed a very fortunate group to have bench-level access to your expertise. Mike and Ernie (AKA “Ern-dog”) – you guys have provided unconditional support and structure for our girls week-after-week. When all is said and done, it is this level of volunteer commitment that contributes hugely to overall success. Behind this team is the unwavering support of the Riptide Steering Committee. Leading up to Provincial great effort went into realizing a vision that promoted a team-minded, supportive and empowering experience for our kids that would leave them with happy memories for years to come. Understandably it is hard to see this global vision in the moment when so much else is going on; however, it is important to recognize that the many successes of our team stem from The Master Plan stewarded by the RSC leadership. Thank you to parents for providing our team with such awesome humans! It was great to see so many of you out for this weekend; I really enjoyed the chance to chat with you all. To the Dunbars: our team is very fortunate to have a family that just randomly let’s us take their van – not once but twice – to the city for road trips. Thank you! Finally, to the players…about all that walking…in that moment it may have not been your cup of tea and that is OK. The walks had a purpose… to create a lasting impression. As you travel through things to come in your life please remember that there was a time when life was simpler: Over a weekend in July in 2018 many people that cared very much about you came together to see you succeed in what you said you wanted to do: In Sept 2017 we traveled to Powell River for pre-season and you said you wanted to play the season with no losses and you wanted to win gold at provincials AND (as per your quiz responses – #1 PERSONAL RESPONSE – You as an individual player wanted to contribute to the team goal(s)). Seems to me that you got there ladies! Well done; I am so very proud of you all.”
The Harris sisters, Kaleigh and Madyson, weren’t the only two Port Hardy athletes to make it to provincials. Kayley Clair’s team, the U15 Riptide Girls, also qualified, ultimately placing third in their division and winning bronze medals.