PORT HARDY—Clifford Glendale assisted on the tying goal and then scored the game-winner as the North Island Secondary School senior boys soccer team rallied from behind for a 4-2 win over Port Hardy Secondary last Thursday in Port Hardy.
The friendly match was a final tuneup for both teams for this week’s provincial qualifying Island A championships in Victoria.
With NISS trailing 2-1 in the 55th minute, Glendale sent a long through pass ahead to teammate Zach Cameron. Port Hardy goalkeeper Quinton Wamiss sprinted out from his net to try to beat Cameron to the ball, but Cameron won the footrace and, after Wamiss slid to the ground, easily chipped the ball into the open net.
Just three minutes later, Cameron and Glendale reversed roles on a textbook give-and-go play for the game-winner. Glendale dropped a pass from the left wing to Cameron near the end line, then sprinted between two defenders toward the goal. Cameron delivered a return pass that caught Glendale in stride for a low, 15-yard laser just inside the near post.
Glendale added a second goal to wrap up the game’s scoring in the 63rd minute, taking another long through pass and eluding a pair of defenders to send another 15-yard strike home.
The final goal-scoring flurry capped a game that began in tight, defensive fashion.
The teams were scoreless until the 28th minute, when Port Hardy’s Brett Walker took advantage of a turnover deep in the Norsemen’s end and pounced for a 10-yard shot in traffic. NISS goalie Moses Smith deflected the ball but could not prevent it from crossing the goal line.
NISS struck back just a minute later, with Devin Williams dribbling through the defence before driving a 20-yard shot from the centre of the field over the head of Wamiss, leaving the score 1-1 at halftime.
Less than five minutes into the second period, Walker struck again to give PHSS its second lead of the game, 2-1. Once again working in traffic in front of the NISS goal, Walker benefitted from some nifty passing by teammates to find himself with room to slip a quick shot into the net.
Both teams traveled Monday to Victoria for the Island A championships, with two berths to the Provincial A Championships Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at St. John Brebeuf Regional School in Abbotsford.