The season may have changed but the sport remains the same. While fall and winter soccer leagues have now wrapped up, spring leagues are just about to get underway…
In youth soccer, Nanaimo’s Harbour City Football Club recently saw local house teams take part in year-end tournaments for various age levels to conclude the season. For teams in the U6 to U12 divisions, no scores were kept. U13 teams took part in a year-end tournament hosted here in Nanaimo, where HCFC’s Cameroon squad earned a bronze medal. The U15 teams were hosted by Oceanside, with no standings kept or medals awarded. A tournament for U18 teams was organized by Mid Isle and saw the boys’ HCFC Whitecaps earn a bronze medal while a girls’ team of combined Dallas and Portland players captured silver.
Coming away with a gold medal was the U18 girls’ HCFC Sounders, coached by Baden Dube and Paul Ross. Players on the championship side were Mackinna Bourque, Megan Epps, Claudia Fletcher, Laura Greene, Kayleigh Hunter, Courtney Jenkins, Amelia Kazanowski, Madeline Kozubal, Richelle Leblond, Alaria Lessard-Northrup, Selayna Lopez, Taylor Olsen, Kaitlyn McMahon-White, Erin O’Sullivan, Shaelynn Ross, Claire Stewart and Dava Waller.
The season is actually not over yet for the Upper Island Storm U14 girls’ rep team. Earlier this month the Storm captured the Island championship with a 2-1 victory over Prospect Lake. The title qualifies the squad to compete at Coastal Cup playdowns in April and then B.C. Soccer championships in July. Head coach for the Storm is Bobbie Taylor, assisted by Harold Bond and manager Sandy Alexander. On the roster are Chantelle Lee, Cataline Magana, Mackenzie Belyea, Claire Krynowsky, Ava Alexander, Erin Jensen, Anais Smith, Olivia Ory, Olivia Williams, Alyssa Klotz, Cassie Carmichael, Cassidy Byrne, Mia Bond and Jazmine Wilkinson.
Turning briefly to senior soccer, the season has ended for Nanaimo United men’s teams in Div. 1 and 2 of the Vancouver Island Soccer League, as both squads have been eliminated from Jackson Cup playdowns. It was a great season for the Nanaimo United Div. 1 women’s team, which captured the league title and earned promotion to the premier division next season. The United women also had a good run in Doug Day Cup playoffs, edged on penalty kicks in the final by Vic West. On the Nanaimo side were players Katherine Ross, Solana Ashe, Christie Mah, Laura Zonneveld, Deryn Davies, Kristy Rowbotham, Casey Martin, Emily Robertson, Rachel Jones, Riley Williamson, Marina Wright, Martyne Kolich, Andrea Strebel, Alli Bach, Drew Murray, Megan Chase, Sharin Kang, and Shelby Walker. Coaches for the team were Daragh Fitzgerald and Paddy Greig.
As for spring soccer, Harbour City Football Club announced a season of small-sided games for players U4 to U18 will run from April 5 to June 9. The sessions will be held at Merle Logan Field on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The emphasis will be on development rather than winning, with players placed on different teams each week and moved around to play with and against new teammates and opponents. Fees range from $60-90. There is still time for interested players to register online at harbourcityfc.com.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.