Senior Boys Soccer
The SMUS Senior Boys Soccer season came to an end last Wednesday with a 10th-place finish in the BC AA high school championship tournament at Burnaby Lake.
The Blue Jags turned in a strong showing in the 16-team provincial tournament, including a pair of tough, one-goal losses in their first two preliminary pool games.
SMUS opened the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Langley Fundamental on Monday morning, a game that the Blue Jags certainly had their chances to win. That left SMUS facing Windsor, the top Vancouver seed in the tournament, in its second game. The Dukes scored two early goals but the Blue Jags didn’t give up, managing a goal of their own in the last minute of the first half and then evening the score early in the second half. Windsor found the back of the net for a go-head goal and, although SMUS maintained possession for much of the latter stages of the game, the Blue Jags couldn’t manage the equalizer and fell 3-2.
Despite those two hard-fought losses, SMUS bounced back the next day with a vengeance. After surrendering the first goal of their final pool game to the Mount Elizabeth Eagles, the Blue Jags exploded for a 6-1 win over the Kitimat side. The result left SMUS in third place in its four-team pool and moved the Blue Jags into the 9th-12th place playoff bracket.
SMUS duplicated that offensive outburst in its first playoff game on Tuesday afternoon, beating McRoberts 6-1. The Blue Jags then wrapped up the tournament with a thriller against Langley Christian School in the 9th/10th final on Wednesday morning. The teams battled to a 1-1 draw through the 80-minute contest. After time was called, the match went straight to penalty kicks with no overtime. Despite some incredible stops by SMUS keeper Fynn Brueck, Langley Christian prevailed on the sixth shooter.
SMUS Head Coach Evan Fryer was pleased with his team’s performance in the BC tournament. “We had an unlucky pool draw, but our games at provincials were among the best of the season,” Fryer says. “Losing by only one goal to Windsor—the eventual silver medal winners—was a testament to the students’ hard work and passion on the field.”
Two Blue Jags were honoured with tournament awards. Striker Kian Colgate captured the Golden Boot with eight goals to lead all tournament scorers over the five games and SMUS co-captain Rayane Hmidi was named to the tournament’s Super Sixteen team.
“The trip was fun, but some of the losses were hard,” says SMUS team member John Zabaneh “We were a strong and dedicated team all season. Most would say it was a privilege to play senior soccer this year. An extra thank you to Mr. Fryer, an incredible coach all throughout the season who always believed and supported us. It has been a pleasure.”
Six SMUS student-athletes were part of the Castaway Wanderers team that won the Vancouver Island U16 rugby championship on Sunday, defeating James Bay.
SMUS players on the Castaway Wanderers side include Declan Longridge, Henry Williamson, Desmond Grant, Nicholas Lee, Santiago Flores and Liam Pope-Lau. Meanwhile, schoolmate Liam Whiteside played for James Bay in the match.
The victory moves the Castaway Wanderers into next Sunday’s provincial gold medal game.
With basketball season officially tipping off on multiple fronts this coming week, the SMUS Boys teams warmed up with a lively Alumni Saturday tripleheader in the Single Gym.
The day featured a spirited scrimmage between the Grade 8 and Grade 9 teams, followed by a fast and physical intrasquad game between members of the Junior Boys team. It was fittingly capped off by an exciting Senior Boys/Alumni game in which the present-day Blue Jags squeaked out a tight victory over the Alumni despite the passing wizardry and three-point prowess of SMUS faculty members and coaches Mark Yorath and Graeme Hyde-Lay, respectively.
SMUS Senior School teams begin action this Tuesday, November 28, with three home exhibitions—the Junior Girls take on Oak Bay at 4:30 pm, the Senior Girls host the Oak Bay Grade 9 Boys at 5:45 pm and the Junior Boys meet visiting Belmont at 7:30 pm. The Senior Boys will travel to Claremont for an exhibition game on Wednesday at 7:30 pm.