The North Island’s two senior boys soccer teams fell just short of a spot in the provincial A championships after they both finished with one win and one loss in the Vancouver Island A finals last week in Victoria.
The North Island Secondary School team from Port McNeill notched a 3-1 win over Ucluelet but dropped a 7-0 decision to St. Andrews Academy, the 2011 provincial champs and a perennial provincial contender.
Port Hardy Secondary School also topped Ucluelet 3-1, but fell 6-0 to host Glenlyon Norfolk School, which has won five of the last eight provincial A titles.
“Every year, you have to go through Glenlyon Norfolk or St. Andrews to win provincials,” NISS coach Casey Mork said.
Glenlyon Norfolk eventually won the Island title, and was joined by St. Andrews as the Island’s two qualifiers to the provincial tournament in Abbotsford, which begins today and runs through Saturday.
For a few hopeful days, the North Island schools faced the prospect of head-to-head meeting for a potential third berth to provincials, and a game was scheduled at PHSS between the schools for this Wednesday to determine the third-place spot in the Island A tourney. But that opportunity evaporated this week when an interior team that had considered withdrawing from provincials instead opted to take its spot into the B.C. finals.
Wednesday’s game was played as scheduled, but it was treated as a friendly season wrap-up, the third game between the clubs this fall.
“All the stars would have had to align for one of us to go (to provincials),” said Mork. “It all had to work out perfectly, and it just didn’t come to pass.”
Wednesday’s game was played after the Gazette went to press this week. See coverage of the match in next week’s edition.