PORT McNEILL—Travyn Foster donated his birthday money to help the North Island Secondary School girls soccer team make their fourth Provincial A championship tournament appearance in five years.
When the team returned last week with a 10th-place finish, it had a belated birthday gift for the Sunset Elementary Grade 1 student.
Team members contributed money to purchase a new soccer ball, which they all signed before presenting it to Foster in recognition of his generosity. The signing occurred during the players’ annual postseason gathering to sign each others’ provincial T-shirts at NISS.
The youngster made a donation of $50 during a team barbecue and car wash held at MarketPlace IGA on his birthday.
“We didn’t want to take it,” NISS principal Jay Dixon said. “But he insisted.”
It was actually the fifth straight year the Norsemen had qualified for the provincial finals, though the team did not travel to the tourney in 2011 due to a conflict with the school’s grad date.
The Norsemen got off to a rocky start to the tourney, held in the Vancouver area May 30-31, dropping a 3-0 decision to Nakusp in what Kaitlyn Lasota described as the team’s worst game of the tourney.
Their second pool game was a 6-1 loss to Immaculata Academy, the private-school powerhouse that went on to win the provincial A title. Jenna Cowan of Sointula provided the team’s lone goal.
The side’s fortunes took a turn for the better in their final game, a 3-2 shootout win over Fort St. James. Goalkeeper Madison Guldager helped shut the door in the shootout to preserve the win.
In the placement semifinals, NISS claimed a 2-1 win over St. Anne’s Academy, carrying a comfortable 2-0 lead into the closing minutes before St. Anne’s broke up the shutout bid.
In the 9th-10th place game, the side dropped a 5-3 decision to Osoyoos.