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Riptide advance to B.C. Coastal Cup championship
The Riptide streak continued on Sunday, as Richmond United travelled to the Valley to contest the Coastal Cup semifinal in U14 boys soccer.
Game day was warm and sunny at Valley View as the two sides eyed each other up – who would go to the Coastal Cup finals? The crowd gathered, cowbells ready to cheer the locals on, as 3 p.m. kick-off started the battle.
The first half started with a bang, with Richmond United testing the Riptide defence and capitalizing with the opening goal after only four minutes.
The Riptide returned to their game plan, kept their heads in the game and got a break 10 minutes later. Big Riley Fussell was taken down in the penalty area when the Richmond defence panicked after he’d carried the ball most of the way through midfield. The ‘Tides Charlie Purcell stepped up to the penalty spot and smoothly tied the game.
Both teams played with intensity, it was hard to tell who would carry the game, with goal- to-goal action for the remainder of the regulation 70 minutes.
Into overtime, and two 10-minute halves played non-stop. Coach Bruce Mitchell told the Riptide to keep playing the way they were, just keep the energy going and to take their shots on net quickly and at every chance and they would win.
The hard game pace continued with opportunities on both sides: the best was a scare with just a few minutes left, when Riptide keeper Jared Perras bolted out of the goal-mouth to play the ball but was beaten to it by a Richmond forward. There was the shot on goal – and there was centre defender Zeb Savoie-Velos, clearing the ball off the goal-line. Relief!
The game needed a winner, so it was on to the shoot-out with each team selecting five penalty shooters. A toss of the coin, and Richmond started first, both teams lined up in centre field, arm in arm. It doesn’t take long for 10 shooters, but it felt like forever as the teams alternated.
Silence as the shooter placed his ball, then cheers or moans from the spectators. By the time it was over, Riptide's Charlie Purcell, Tanner Kempe, Nicholas Mitchell and Riley Fussell had all scored with their kicks, and keeper Jared Perras had stopped two of Richmond’s shooters – victory Riptide! "Incredible, but also, we always felt we could do this," a team spokesperson said.
"It was a great day, now we are going to the Coastal Cup in two weeks, it will be the best of Vancouver Island versus the best of the Lower Mainland, and we can’t wait."
The Riptide will be playing the Delta Coastal Selects, who finished atop the Metro Select League and won their semifinal match in a shoot-out also.
– Upper Vancouver Island Riptide