PENTICTON — Some Surrey soccer girls came out winners in a provincial championship in Penticton from July 7 to 10.
The Surrey United HEAT team (U14 girls, division one) took home BC Soccer Youth Provincial B-Cup.
“We truly wanted to represent our community of Surrey and as you can see… we definitely accomplished that,” said HEAT coach Sean Phoenix.
“When we first started practicing as a team in August 2015, we set a goal for ourselves to make it to provincials in 2016,” he added. “I knew we had a special group of committed, talented and determined players who truly enjoyed being together on and off the field.”
The HEAT team represented the Coastal region at the competition, along with their regular season division rivals from Chilliwack.
In the round robin portion of the Provincial Cup, the HEAT opened with a 2-2 tie against Terrace and then picked up momentum with a 3-2 win over Peninsula/Prospect Lk (Victoria).
Needing a win to advance to the final, the HEAT faced undefeated Nelson and showed their best team performance to win 4-1.
“We had an early game with a lot of rain,” commented Phoenix. “Felt just like home in Surrey so we were comfortable in those conditions.” The stage was set for the Cup final on Sunday between Surrey United and Chilliwack, who won their round robin group with three straight victories.
The sun came out and so did the fans as the sidelines were packed with cheering parents and kids.
As the teams battled hard for 70 minutes and exchanged scoring opportunities, neither team was able to put it in the back of the net.
This was followed by 20 minutes of extra time where the HEAT generated some quality chances but couldn’t capitalize. So the two teams finished at 0-0 and were headed to penalty kicks to decide it. “We expected a defensive battle and that’s what happened,” revealed Phoenix. “We’ve played Chilliwack two times previously in league and cup competitions and went to penalty kicks in both of them.” After each team scored on their first three attempts, Surrey United missed the net.
The HEAT keeper then needed to make a save to keep it even and she did just that, and the teams were tied in penalty kicks 3-3.
The HEAT scored on their fourth attempt putting pressure on Chilliwack to tie it up. With the championship on the line, the HEAT keeper made a huge save on a low shot and sealed the victory for Surrey United. “My heart was racing and I couldn’t have been more excited for our players and their families,” Phoenix remarked. “The assistant coaches, Cindy Barron and Amarie Guild were elated with the team’s performance and expressed pride in what the girls had accomplished since the start of the season.” To cap off the victory, the HEAT were also awarded the BC Soccer Fair Play Award for their age group based on sportsmanship and fair play throughout the entire competition.