The L.V. Rogers Bombers girls soccer team sent a message to Kootenay high schools on Thursday afternoon at Lakeside pitch: soccer in Nelson is a notch above the rest.
In the Kootenay playdowns the Bombers took care of Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries with a dominant 6-0 win in the morning and then crushed Invermere’s David Thompson in the afternoon 7-0.
With the pair of wins the Bombers earned the right to represent the Kootenays in the AA BC High School Provincials in Kamloops starting on May 31.
“They played very well,” said coach Dave Spendlove. “We are still getting it together for next week [at the provincials], but it’s coming along.”
The emerging dominance of Nelson teams at the Kootenay level coincides with the arrival of the Soccer Quest indoor program and coaching. Spendlove brought the program to Nelson five years ago and this is the first true test of the results.
“It takes five years to build a program and we are starting to reap the rewards of it,” said Spendlove who heads up the Bombers program with a team of Soccer Quest coaches including Iain Harvey and Jamie Spendlove.
“Seven or eight of those girls have trained together year-round for the last five years. They have come through together and they play the possession game really well. Their knowledge of the game is very good and they know how to play the system.”
Goal scorers in the Stanley Humphries game included Morag Paterson and Andrea Stinson with two each, while Chloe Kuch and Keegan Paterson added singles. Against Invermere Bekka Schrader notched a hat trick while Morag Paterson, Abbie Bourchier-Willans, Erica Augsten, and Brittany Wheeler added singles. Bombers keeper Kat Garbula registered both shutouts.
“Our goal is to always go and win,” said Spendlove. “We are normally slow coming out of the blocks, so winning that first game is going to be imperative. We don’t know the opposition, but I am quite confident that the girls will play good football and that is the main thing we are concerned about.”
For some of the girls, the Kamloops tournament will be their last in a Bombers uniform as they graduate. Four of the players on the team have earned spots in Canadian university soccer next season including Stinson (University of Calgary), Taylor Stewart (Calgary), Morag Paterson (University of Lethbridge) and Wheeler (Lethbridge).