A regional water-polo team that counts Surrey residents among its members has been crowned a national champion.
Fraser Valley Water Polo’s under-16 girls team – which includes Surrey’s Emma Lawson and Emily Clapham, as well as others from Langley, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam and Abbotsford – won gold at Canada’s National Championship League finals, which were held in Calgary in late May.
In their first game, the U16 team – which qualified for nationals by virtue of a top-two finish at western finals earlier in the month – faced off against Quebec-based Club Aquatique de Montreal (CAMO), winning 13-12 thanks to five late goals, including the winner with just 28 seconds left.
“What I liked most about that performance, was that we moved the ball around and had 8 different goal scorers. They are a team and play for each other,” said coach Michel Roy in a news release.
In the next round, Fraser Valley defeated another Montreal squad, Dollard, by a 12-7 margin and advanced to the final, where they against faced CAMO.
As opposed to their first meeting, where the B.C. team trailed the Quebec squad nearly the entire game, the final saw Fraser Valley come out hot, staking themselves to an early 5-0 lead. CAMO cut the lead to 5-3 later in the game, but the Valley team tacked on some late goals, eventually winning 11-5.
In addition to the gold-medal winning squad, Fraser Valley also had U16 and U19 teams entered into the event. The U16s – who were undefeated in 17 regular-season games this year – finished just off the podium, in fourth place, while the U19s also finished just off the podium.
Earlier this season, Fraser Valley’s U14 boys won gold at western championships, and the U14 girls won bronze.