The Alberni Athletics U16 girls have earned a spot in this year’s provincial championships.
On Sunday, Mar. 4, the team travelled to Goudy Turf in Langford to play against Juan de Fuca, with a berth in provincials in Kamloops in July on the line. Only one team per age group from the Island qualifies for provincials, so it is difficult to make it there.
The teams played a back and forth game for a full 80 minutes with no scoring. There followed a twenty-minute overtime period, which again saw no scoring. The teams were evenly matched, with neither team having the clear advantage.
Next came the stressful shootout. Juan de Fuca shot first, and scored on their first shot. The Athletics’ first shot was stopped by JDF. The Athletics’ keeper stopped the second shot, and their second shooter scored, making it 1-1. Juan de Fuca scored on their third shot, as did the Athletics. Juan de Fuca’s fourth shooter put the ball over the net, and the Athletics’ fourth hit the crossbar.
Alberni’s keeper made an outstanding save on the fifth shot, making the score still 2-2, with one more shooter. The Athletics’ fifth shooter scored, giving them a 3-2 victory. The team, coaches and parents were very excited, and relieved.
The team now plays an exhibition tournament in Nanaimo in mid-March, then the Coastal Cup (at home) on April 14, and the Island Cup (in Powell River) on April 28. The team would like to thank their sponsor, Mountain View Bakery, for their support.