They may have been the most dominant team at the tournament.
They were also among the unluckiest.
The Burnsview Griffins were seeking a third consecutive B.C. Senior AA girls high school soccer championship in Kamloops last weekend, but despite outscoring the opposition 8-0 in their four victories, a 2-1 loss to the Okanagan Mission Huskies in their first game ended their championship run.
“We were just a little unlucky this time around,” said Burnsview coach Mary Ferguson. “We were going for the three-peat. You can imagine we are a little heart broken to come home without at least being in the final.”
Only the first place teams from each of the four four-team groups advance to the semifinal round of the playoffs. The Griffins had the best goal-difference in their group after the round robin, but their 2-1-0 (won-lost-tied) record left them a point behind the 2-0-1 Huskies.
“The game against Okanagan Mission was going great until the second half,” said Ferguson. “We were leading 1-0 at half time and at that point, Okanagan Mission had no shots on our net. We were in total control of the game and playing well.”
Then there was a breakdown. The Huskies managed to get a player in behind the Burnsview defence, a play the Griffins claimed was offside. Goalie Nicole Kokolski stopped the shot, but was knocked into the net by the Okanagan forward, resulting in a game-tying goal.
“Our defenders were upset by the two non calls, and consequently, our own game broke down,” said Ferguson. “Okanagan Mission scored off of a corner kick to win with 10 minutes left in the game. These were the only two opportunities they had at our net.”
The Griffins defeated the Crofton House Cougars of Vancouver and Shawnigan Lake Secondary to place second in the round robin. Playoff wins were against the Parkland Panthers of Sidney and Richmond’s McNair Marlins. All four wins were by 2-0 scores, with Grade 9 midfielder Myranda Willis scoring four goals, and Danyka Wadley, Katrina Guenther, Robyn Abe and Michelle Knowlan netting one each.
Kokolski was also in goal for the four shut out wins.
Ferguson praised the play of “a really strong back line of Jessica Turner, Olivia Kappeli, Rachel Pechingpaugh, and Danyka Wadley.”
Julie DeVriendt, Kappeli, Elexis Scholssarek, and Knowlan earned Game MVP (Most Valuable Player) honours, and Turner was presented with a Commissioner’s 11 award.
The Sands Scorpions placed 10th at the 16-team tournament, going 1-2-0 and placing third in the round robin, then defeating the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops 1-0 before losing 3-2 to Shawnigan Lake.
The Surrey Christian Falcons were also at the tournament, placing 15th after a 2-1 win over Vernon’s Kalamalka Lakers in their final game. A 1-0-2 round robin record left them tied for second in the round robin, but were placed fourth on the tiebreaker.