Nanaimo U17 girls win provincial soccer championship

The Nanaimo Impact soccer team again finished atop the heap in B.C. as the U17 rep girls’ squad won a second-straight provincial title.

The Nanaimo Impact soccer team again finished atop the heap in B.C.

The U17 rep girls’ squad won a second-straight provincial championship on Sunday after defeating the Port Coquitlam Fury 1-0 in the gold-medal match in Kelowna.

The Impact went 2-0-1 in round-robin play leading up to the final, so they finished with an undefeated record this season. The last win was the best of all, as the girls played a complete game, said co-coach Dale Nicks.

“There was no point in the game, really, where we thought that the tides had turned,” he said. “[The Fury] might have had four or five chances – not many. We dominated them. We totally outchanced them.”

Emily Shires scored both goals for her team in the first half, and PoCo’s only response was an own goal by Nanaimo midway through the second half. The Fury couldn’t muster any further comeback, and the Impact got to celebrate.

Shires finished the tournament with eight of her team’s 10 goals.

Keeper Kayte Higgins got the win in the gold-medal match and tended goal all weekend, finishing with two shutouts.

One of her shutouts came in the semifinals, a 0-0 draw with the Bulkley Valley Rapids. That was a bizarre game in that the Rapids needed only a tie to make the medal round, and played for just that outcome.

“They had all 11 players in the 18-yard box. It was just like a wall of keepers,” said Nicks.

Nicks coached the team with Lanny Cronan. The Impact will move to metro for the 2012-13 season.

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