The L.V. Lady Bombers with the consolation trophy. Back row

LVR Lady Bombers claim 9th at BC AA field hockey provincials

The Bombers travelled to Victoria to face fierce competition. Their stellar play was a great end to the season.

The L.V. Rogers Bombers came in ninth at the BC AA girls field hockey provincials in Victoria this weekend. Coach Bruce Walgren wrote in an email to the Star that it was a “great finish to a wonderful season.” The Nelson team lost their first three games, throwing them into the consolation round where they won three.

LVR Lady Bomber Noa Butterfield taking a free hit.

“I was really proud of the way the girls never gave up and continued to play hard even after such a difficult start,” wrote Walgren, who emphasized the team’s placement in “the group of death,” which consisted of No. 2 ranked St. Michaels University School from Saanich, Yorkhouse Secondary from Vancouver and Seycove Secondary from North Vancouver.

“The Bombers played with such determination, speed and endurance that at times I was amazed how they could keep playing at such a high tempo with pulled hamstrings, a black eye, slashed fingers and banged up knees, playing six games in three days, always finding away to get the job done,” Walgren said.

The Bombers lost their first game against Vancouver’s Yorkhouse Secondary 1-0. Walgren described the game as “fast and intense” adding the only goal was scored in the first five minutes.

LVR went on to lose their second game of the day against host St. Michaels 5-0.

“A very tall order indeed to keep this team in check, wrote Walgren. “LVR did well but a much more experienced St. Michael’s team controlled much of the play their goaltender had to make some great saves to keep the ball out of the net.”

The challenges continued into day two as LVR played Seycove Secondary on water turf (which is like playing on a gym floor), losing 5-0.

“The speed of the game increases dramatically. Seycove definitely had the advantage here as LVR plays on real grass,” wrote Walgren, adding they only had six practices under their belts on a faster surface. “It was only a matter of time before Seycove tired out the LVR midfield and defense who worked relentlessly at trying to keep the Seycove attack at bay.”

Bomber Hanna Quinn using a sweep pass to Naomi Perkins.

This loss put LVR into the consolation pool playing for places 9th to 12th.

That’s when the Bombers found their first win, 5-1 against G.W. Graham of Chilliwack on water turf, despite what Walgren described as a “very tired group of players.”

“After some line up changes and an adjustment in the team’s formation, the ladies were able to use their speed and passing to full effect after G.W. Graham scored first off of a short corner. The Bombers stepped up their game and never looked back.

Allie Zondervan getting ready to make some moves.

“Naomi Perkins just seemed to grab another gear in the game and took off with the ball after some strong defensive work. Perkins ran down the left wing, worked the ball into the scoring circle and slid the ball past the GW keeper. Not two minutes later Perkins netted her second goal. Allie Zondervan netted LVR’s third goal after some great work down low by Hanna Quinn and Emma Borhi who teed the ball up for the captain, who slammed the ball past the GW keeper.”

Perkins netted her third goal of the game after turning four GW defenders inside out with some amazing ball control work and slotted the ball past the GW keeper, Walgren said.

“It’s not to often you get a hat trick in the provincials,” wrote the coach, adding great goal tending by Rylee Zondervan kept the G.W. Graham attack out of the net.

In the final day of the tournament LVR won 5-1 against South Okanagan from Oliver, with goals by Butterfield, Zondervan, rookie Lakpa Deit and two by Perkins.

“LVR began to step up its game another notch and controlled much of the play with some great passing and running, wrote Walgren.

The Bombers went on to win their sixth and final game against Southridge 8-0.

LVR struck early with goals from Perkins, who converted a short corner, hammering a low shot into the far corner, and Emma Borhi, who was rewarded with her tireless efforts up front. Hanna Quinn netted the Bombers’ third goal as she converted another Bomber short corner.

Emma Gregorich put away the Bombers’ fourth goal. “After some terrific defense as Kyra Burkart, Kaitlyn Daly and Heather Potkins combined to work the ball out of the back and up the right side to speedy winger Hanna Quinn, who worked the ball into the scoring circle and made another great pass onto Emma Gregorich’s stick.”

In the second half the Bombers continued what Walgren described as “great passing and running,” resulting in defender Kyra Burkart being rewarded with a goal. Noa Butterfield scored next. “She hammered a nice low shot past the Southridge goalie after some great individual checking,” wrote the coach. The final goal of the game came from rookie exchange student Kassandra Schloeder. Bomber goalie Rylee Zondervan also earned a shutout.

The Grade 12 Bombers-Back row, left to right: Kyra Burkart, Mia Kraus, Lakpa Dietz, and Camille Gebhart. Front row, left to right: Emma Gregorich, Naomi Perkins, Emma Borhi and Allie Zondervan.

The coach added there was “great work” from Bomber forwards Lakpa Dietz, Schloeder, Katharina Hayn, and Lisa Demski, and defenders Mia Kraus, Camille Gebhart, and Julia Burkart.

Walgren said he will be sad to say goodbye to the Grade 12s who will be leaving the team. He passed on his best wishes to co-captains Allie Zondervan and Naomi Perkins, forward Emma Borhi, defenders Emma Gregorich, Kyra Burkart, and Noelle Wang (who was unable attend provincials this year), and rookies Camille Gebhart, Mia Kraus and Lakpa Dietz.

“I truly hope they continue to find a way to keep playing the game wherever they go,” said Walgren.

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