The Riptide U14 Girls soccer team was on the road again Saturday, Nov. 15 for their eighth game of the VIPL season, playing their second match against the Gorge/Lakehill Thunder team in Victoria.
Coming off a tough loss last week and with only one of their 10 points being earned on the road coming into this match, Riptide’s mental toughness and technical training would be put to the test.
The teams last faced off in early October, when Riptide outscored Thunder 7-1 at home. However, the Gorge/Lakehill team had been gaining momentum since then, resulting in a very close game against Saanich and a win against UI Storm (the top two teams in the league) in their previous two games this month.
Right from the game’s starting whistle, it was clear that both teams came with the intention and commitment to win. Despite their efforts, neither team was able to find the back of the net, and the first half ended with no score.
With some strategic positioning adjustments to counteract Gorge/Lakehill’s style of play, Riptide came back strong in the second half, scoring within the first three minutes. Aisha Hunter-Bellavia dug deep at midfield to send a through pass to Sophie L. who defeated two defenders before finding the back of the net to score the only goal of the game.
Throughout the game, Riptide maintained most of the ball possession, but the main story continued to be the team’s strong defence, shutting down most of their opponent’s scoring opportunities. Riptide’s ‘keeper took care of the rest.
Riptide coaches Matt Laver, Lisa Wigard and Jim Stewart were very pleased with how their team played on the road. Stewart said, “Gorge/Lakehill Thunder was only one point behind us coming into this game, so this was a big three points for us. Both teams played very well defensively, and although we had most of the possession, we only managed to capitalize on one of our scoring chances. Fortunately, one goal was all we needed on this day.”
Stewart went on to explain, “The key to this win was our ability to register another shutout. When the girls play well defensively, they always give themselves a chance to win. This was our third clean sheet in the last four games, a trend we’ll seek to continue.”
The Riptide U14 Girls soccer team, sponsored by Lacasse Construction, has byes for the remainder of November. They play their final game of 2014 on Dec. 6 at home game against Juan de Fuca/Sooke. Until then, Riptide will continue their regular training schedule and will also be doing a team fundraiser at the Courtenay Superstore. Look for the team bagging groceries by donation there on Nov. 29.
For more information about games and events, visit the team’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/riptide2001girls.
– Riptide U14 Girls