Heading into provincial soccer championships last week, Southridge Storm senior boys coach Gordon Smith said that, without one dominant odds-on favourite, the banner was any team’s to win.
Southridge had as good a shot at the title as anyone, he said, and he nearly proved to be prothetic, as the Storm finished second in the province.
The team, which was seeded fourth out of 16 at provincials, lost to Victoria’s Glenlyon-Norfolk Gryphons 5-1 in the championship game Saturday afternoon.
In the final game, the Gryphons got off to a great start, and led 3-0 at halftime before the Storm were finally able to get onto the board.
The loss was the only blip for the Storm, however. The team – which played at the AA level last season, due to enrolment numbers – cruised through the round-robin portion of the tournament, placing first in Pool D after wins over Fort St. James (3-0) and Immaculata (2-0) and a 0-0 draw with Nakusp.
In the team’s first playoff round, the Storm drew the first-place squad from Pool C, West Point Grey, and snuck out with a narrow 2-1 victory to advance all the way to the final against Glenlyon-Norfolk.
Southridge, which finished fifth at AA provincials last season, qualified for provincials a week ago, after capturing a Fraser Valley ‘A’ championship with a win over Langley’s Credo Christian Kodiaks, who were previously undefeated.
At the time, Smith called the win “a pretty cool turn of events” considering the team got off to a slow start this season, losing their opening game while also rotating players through a handful of positions, including goalkeeper, until they found a combination that worked.