NDSS finishes surprising season with medal

The Nanaimo District Islanders senior AA girls’ soccer team won bronze at provincial championships this past weekend in Courtenay.

Nanaimo District Islanders player Grace Gates controls the ball during a game against Kalamalka last Friday at senior AA provincial championships at Valleyview Fields in Courtenay. NDSS went on to win bronze.

Nanaimo District Islanders player Grace Gates controls the ball during a game against Kalamalka last Friday at senior AA provincial championships at Valleyview Fields in Courtenay. NDSS went on to win bronze.

Soccer season ended up being full of surprises.

The Nanaimo District Islanders senior AA girls’ soccer team won bronze at provincial championships this past weekend in Courtenay, defeating L.V. Rogers 4-0 to claim a medal.

The regular season was disjointed, with game cancellations as opposing teams folded. Despite that, ND peaked at playoffs, beat its rivals from Ballenas and won an Island title.

“We didn’t really get a lot of playing in, and nobody really expected us to win the Islands…” said Mikaela Docherty, Isles coach. “And before we knew it we were in provincials.”

NDSS seemed like underdogs at the big tourney, said the coach. Every other team arrived at the pitch in their matching track suits, while the Isles didn’t even have matching jerseys and shorts.

“We thought we were going to be the worst team. We weren’t sure. All the girls were so nervous,” Docherty said. “But we have a lot of really skilled players on our team and we all worked together really well as a team.”

The Islanders won two games and tied one in pool play, with goalkeeper Kayte Higgins posting two shutouts and getting plenty of goal support.

ND’s only loss came to Archbishop Carney, the eventual provincial champions. The players were disappointed, briefly, but they came out in the bronze-medal match and played like they wanted it, said the coach.

“There’s not one girl without a smile on her face,” she said.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com