South Surrey and its surrounding communities were home to 300 students athletes last week, as B .C. soccer teams battled for the title in the 2023 BC School Sports (BCSS) Girls ‘A’ Soccer Provincial Championships, which were held Wednesday (May 31) through Friday (June 2).
With 16 teams playing games at Southridge School and at South Surrey Athletic Park over the three-day tournament, the competition ended with a banquet on Friday night, with Canadian Olympic gold medalist Madison Mailey as the featured speaker.
While Kelowna’s Immaculata Regional High School took home the gold (they also won the 2021-2022 provincials), South Surrey’s own Southridge team brought home the silver medal with well-deserved wins, with Langley’s Credo Christian coming in third with the bronze-medal win.
“I think it all came together – we had good weather, lots of close games and the banquet was fantastic… the food was amazing,” said Southridge head coach and provincials tournament director Gord Smith.
While there were some small hiccups – as there always are when organizing events that bring hundreds of student athletes and their parents and families together – Smith noted he could not have done anything alone, and had plenty of help with the tournament and banquet, with help from a ‘great band’ of people who all helped made it happen.
“We had four tough games leading into finals – all of the games were tough and draining leading up to that,” Smith said.
In the semi-finals, the Southridge team scored a winning goal in extra time to get into the final game, he noted.
“That was exciting…we had a lot of fan support from the high school and the elementary school, so that was fun.”
The final game score was 4-1 for Immaculata Regional over Southridge, but it was all a valuable learning experience for the young Southridge team, he said.
“They’re just a great bunch of girls. They never backed down,” he said.
“The school community really got behind (the tournament)… It was really embraced.”