The North Island Secondary School senior girls soccer team open play today in the Provincial A Championships in Rossland after placing second in the recent Vancouver Island A tournament in Port McNeill.

NISS girls begin provincial play

The NISS team begins play in the Provincial Girls A soccer championships in Rossland.

PORT McNEILL—This time, the North Island Secondary School girls soccer team can compete without distraction.

The NISS team begins play today in the Provincial Girls A soccer championships in Rossland after qualifying for the high school tourney for the fifth time in six years.

In at least two of those previous appearances the team was left short-handed on the final day of play as Grade 12 players scrambled to make travel arrangements back to the North Island for their graduation ceremony.

Last spring, the team did not even make the trip after qualifying, due to the tourney’s conflict with grad, but the school has since shifted its leaving ceremony date to the second Saturday in June, leaving the squad’s five grads —Karina Cann, Kimberly Cardwell, Natalie Chester, Tassann James and Jenna McMahon — free to try for a second straight berth in the provincial final.

In their last appearance, in 2011, the team took home the runner-up trophy in the 16-team tournament.

Provincials may be especially challenging for Cann and McMahon, who stepped up to share goalkeeping duties after the team entered the season without an established goalie. And Cann returns to the pitch after a year away from the game while attending school in Spain in 2011-12 on a Rotary Foreign Exchange visit.

“Both our goalies just stepped up this year, because we didn’t have one,” team manager Kathy Mitchell said. “They’ve done an amazing job.”

The pair combined to allow only one goal through their first three games in the Vancouver Island A championships, held at NISS two weeks ago. That run ended in a 4-1 loss to Glenlyon Norfolk School that left the Norsemen with the second of the Island’s two berths to provincials, but Mitchell said the final score was deceiving.

“It was not a lopsided game,” she said. “There was a lot of back-and-forth. They just got three quick goals in the first half.

NISS actually led the game 1-0 on an early goal by Jenna Cowan, but Cowan is likely to miss this week’s provincials due to an injury sustained later in the Island final.

Still, this year’s team seems deep enough to absorb the loss. Head coach Dwayne Rudy said during the Islands that this team has more “finishers” than at any time since he began coaching the program.

NISS will need them; the school faces a tough road to the finals. Among the teams in their four-school round-robin pool is Immaculata of Kelowna, which swept to the B.C. Catholic Schools girls soccer championship earlier this month and which won three straight provincial championships from 2007-09.

“We’re seeded No. 3 in our pool,” said Mitchell. “It will be a tough one to get out of in the No. 1 position, but I think if the girls set their minds to it, they can do it.”

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: North Island Peewee Eagles unleash avalanche of goals against Peninsula in semi-final showdown

The two teams squared up on Sunday morning at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Should aquaculture programs be offered at North Island College in Port Hardy?

“I think it would be very timely to have an aquaculture program”

Island Health issues press release regarding Port Alice Health Centre service changes

Island Health will be hosting a community meeting in Port Alice Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the rec centre.

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read