Three years after its boys team won a provincial soccer championship, the Panorama Ridge Thunder girls team will hang another banner in the Newton high school’s gymnasium.
The Thunder completed an undefeated season Saturday afternoon at Newton Athletic Park, defeating the Mt. Boucherie Bears of Kelowna 1-0 in the Senior AAA B.C. championship game.
“We are very proud of the players and how they played as a team and overcame obstacles throughout our season,” said co-coaches Tanya Genovese and Darrell Fast. “The victory was important for the positive and motivating effect it has on our soccer program and the entire school.”
The Thunder was 5-0-1 (won-lost-tied) in league play, then won four consecutive playoff games to win the Fraser Valley championship last month.
At the 16-team provincial tournament, they won four of five games – a scoreless tie against the Argyle Pipers in the final round robin game good enough to clinch first place and a berth in the semifinals.
They advanced to the championship game with a 4-1 victory over Fraser Valley rival the Charles Best Blue Devils of Coquitlam.
“In that game, our defense played exceptionally well,” said the Thunder coaches, referring to Gurneet Josan at sweeper, Navleen Jammu in centre defense and outside defenders Sonia Sohi and Sharan Minhas.
Panorama Ridge scored the only goal of Saturday’s final in the second half, when Nav Samra beat two defenders before firing a shot from 23 yards out past the Mt. Boucherie netminder.
Thunder goalkeeper Zoe Makrigiannis was a standout throughout the tournament, stopping a breakaway in the tie against Argyle and earning her team’s Commissioner’s 11 Award after the tournament.
“In the final game, Zoe was constantly communicating with the players on the field and she made some big saves early in the first half,” said Genovese and Fast.
The Thunder weren’t challenged in their first two games of the tournament, thumping the Prince George Polars 11-1 then blanking the Point Grey Greyhounds 5-0.
In 15 league, playoff and provincial championship games, the Thunder went 13-0-2 while outscoring the opposition 57-9.
Two other local schools also competed at the B.C. championship tournament.
The Seaquam Seahawks placed 13th, losing all three round robin games but winning playoff games by scores of 6-1 (over Prince George) and 2-1 (over the South Delta Sun Devils). Jasmine Mander was the Seahawks player on the Commissioner’s 11.
The host Fleetwood Park Dragons were 15th, losing a pair of one-goal decisions in three round robin defeats, before falling 2-1 to South Delta then defeating Prince George 6-0. Paige Chapman was the Dragons player selected to the Commissioner’s 11.