The L.V. Rogers Bombers girls soccer team proved they could play with the best high school teams in the province, but had to settle for eighth place at last weekend’s provincials.
After dominating the Kootenays this spring, the Bombers earned the right to represent the region at the BC High School AA Provincials in Kamloops starting last Thursday.
“The girls played magnificent,” said coach Dave Spendlove. “They could have easily been playing in the final for first or second, but missed chances in front of the goal and over-exhausted players resulted in injuries which cost us in the end.”
The first game of the tournament for the Bombers had them matched against one of the tournament favourites, Sa-Hali from Kamloops.
The Bombers totally dominated from the opening whistle, but the Sa-Hali keeper was the difference in what ended up a 0-0 draw. The Nelson girls had 12 shots on net to one by the Kamloops side.
The second game was against the tournament’s eventual winners Seycove from North Vancouver. Again had the Bombers controlled the game in the first half with Paige Mansveld putting the Nelson side ahead 1-0. The second half was a different story as fatigue and mental errors lead to three unanswered Seycove goals and the game ended 3-1.
The Friday morning game had the Bombers pushing hard against Surrey Christian and though they could have been up by four goals after the first half, only Morag Patterson capitalized. Like the second game, the Bombers looked tired in the second half. Even though Nelson outshot Surrey 12-1 over the entire game, the score ended in a 1-1 draw which spoiled any chance of a gold.
The second game on Friday was to see who would play for the fifth and sixth spot on Saturday. McNair High School from Vancouver were the competition and a strong start lead to a goal by Mansveld and a 1-0 first half advantage.
“We should have gone in at the half again three or four goals to the good,” said Spendlove. “In the second half guess what? We were tired and struggled to keep up to McNair.”
McNair scored midway through the second half and then notched the game winner in the last minute of the game.
In the Saturday game the Bombers struggled to get 11 players on the field against Parkland from Sidney. Like they did most of the weekend LVR outshot their opponents 10-3, but were not rewarded for their play. The game ended 1-1 and it took penalty shots before Parkland took seventh spot in the 16-team tournament.
Spendlove said the graduating core of Andrea Stinson, Laurel Sheriff, Brittany Wheeler, Taylor Stewart and Morag Patterson all displayed their passion for the game and were outstanding in their final weekend of high school soccer. Wheeler was selected to the commissioners All Star 11.
“A special comment must be made to Taylor Stewart who could hardly walk never mind run right from the get-go but would not be subbed and played like a real Corinthian battling away in midfield,” said Spendlove.
The future looks good for LVR program with players like Paige Mansveld, Erica Augsten, Abbey Willians, Jena Wheeldon all playing outstanding this weekend. Spendlove said Hailey Gerun, Maddi Murphy and keeper Kat Garbula also showed the qualities over the past few months needed to make great leaders in the future of LVR soccer.