The Rossland Secondary School Royals senior girls soccer team played their hearts out in the B.C. High School Single-A Soccer championship in Kelowna on the weekend.
Sixteen teams from around the province descended on Immaculata Regional High School in Kelowna Thursday, to kick off the 2012 single-A provincials.
Rossland went into the tournament seeded in fourth spot and looked to move up a notch. The talented Royals team has had a successful season winning regionals handily and breezing to victory in the Single A Public Schools Championship tournament in Osoyoos last month. But in the provincials, the small school was up against many private-school powerhouses.
Nevertheless, they got off to a brilliant start, going 3 and 0 in the round robin. The Royals opened the tournament with a 7-1 drubbing of Kelowna Christian, then followed that with another decisive victory over Ashcroft 10-0, before finishing off the round with a 4-1 win over Langley Christian.
The Royals then faced defending provincial champs Glenlyon Norfolk out of Victoria with the winner advancing to the final.
The Royals quickly fell behind 2-0 but stormed back to tie it. However, Glenlyon would go ahead on a penalty kick and add another to go up 4-2. The Royals battled hard, scoring once more and cutting the lead to 4-3 but would eventually capitulate, suffering a 5-3 loss.
With the loss to Glenlyon Norfolk, RSS had an opportunity for a bronze medal on Saturday. However, they came up against a strong Immaculata side and ended up losing 4-0.
“The bronze medal game was actually a much harder match and Immaculata had some wickedly fast forwards,” said RSS teacher Kim McKinnon. “The RSS girls play an offisde trap which unfortunately you can live or die by.”
In the final match between Norfolk and Southridge, extra time was needed to decide it, but in the end Southridge would score two to win the provincial title by a score of 2-nil.
Coach Rick McKinnon said he couldn’t be prouder of the team who have stuck together for many years and were the talk of the tournament with their tenacious play and ball movement.
Their fourth placing is the RSS senior girls soccer team’s best finish ever in the single-A provincials.
The Royals placed seventh in 2011 and 12th the previous year. They also had the best record among all Single-A public schools in the province. They ended the 2012 season with an impressive 23 wins, two losses and four draws.
(See photo on page 10)