Surrey United’s U15 girls soccer team following practice at Cloverdale Athletic Park on Tuesday night. The squad will be in Edmonton for the Toyota National Championships starting Wednesday, Oct. 9. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

SOCCER

Two Surrey United girls teams headed to soccer club nationals, along with Central City men

Nationals start Wednesday, Oct. 9 in three different Canadian cities

Two Surrey United girls soccer teams will compete for national championships this month, along with the senior men of Surrey’s Central City Breakers.

Surrey United’s U15 girls squad is headed for the national club championship tournament in Edmonton starting Wednesday, Oct. 9, while the club’s U17 girls team is off to Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Elsewhere, in St. John’s, N.L., Central City will play for the Challenge Trophy, given to Canada’s top senior men’s club team.

This week, both Surrey United teams trained for nationals at Cloverdale Athletic Park, the club’s home turf.

The U17 team’s head coach, Arianne (Ari) Adams, has been to nationals several times, both as a coach and player.

“I’ve had this group since U13, and for some (players) it will be their third nationals and for others it’ll be their first, so it’s a good mix of players,” Adams said.

CLICK HERE to see Surrey United’s U17 girls roster and schedule.

“The core of the team is still with us, and we’ve obviously progressed as they’ve gotten older.”

Most of the teen girls live in the Surrey area, she said, but some come to the pitch from places like Chilliwack and New Westminster.

“In our U14 year we went to nationals and lost 1-0 to Calgary in the final, in Moncton, and there was a lot of rain that year,” Adams recalled. “It was a heart-breaker, but we were able to go again in the U15 year and we beat Quebec in the final 1-0, in 2017.”

• RELATED STORY: Two Surrey United teams bring home national hardware, from 2017.

Adams, who lives in Maple Ridge, has been coaching with Surrey United for the past decade, and has played centre-back for its women’s team for longer than that.

“We’re not going to nationals this year,” Adams said of her own team. “No worries at all, because it makes my life easier with scheduling. We’ve gone to nationals… I can’t even keep track of all the times,” she added.

United’s U17 girls are in Group A at nationals with four other teams, including Quebec’s Lakeshore SD, the team’s opening-game opponent on Oct. 9.

Also that day, Surrey’s U15 team opens against P.E.I. at Ivor Dent Field in Edmonton.

CLICK HERE to see Surrey United’s U15 girls roster and schedule.

The U15 head coach, Rob Giesbrecht, said his players are “very excited” to be going to nationals.

“This is the youngest a team can go to nationals now, because they changed that, so this is their first crack at it,” Giesbrecht said Tuesday. “They’ve prepared well over the past couple of years. It came down to having a good playoff run in June and we won the provincial championship that month and earned our berth at nationals. We played Fraser Valley FC in the final, on the grass right over there (at CAP). It was a great game, beat them 1-0. They’re our rivals, so it was fun.”

Giesbrecht, a Yarrow resident whose daughter Sidney plays on the U15s, said the team is backed by a fantastic goalkeeper in Yasmine Pahal, who goes to school at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, and is led by captain Hannah Bains, who lives in the Guildford/Fraser Heights area. Also, midfielder Olyvia Hleucka, currently with the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX program, will join the squad at nationals.

As for the weather in Edmonton, he said the team is ready for the worst.

“I’ve got parents sending me screenshots of weather forecasts and it looks OK, so we’re not worried, but we are prepared for whatever’s out there,” Giesbrecht said with a smile.

The Toyota National Championships website, at canadasoccer.com, shows 17 players on Surrey United’s U15G roster, including Hannah Bains, Mya Bajpal, Sydney Casidy, Danielle Cooper, Jenna Ericson, Macy Fournier, Sidney Giesbrecht, Olyvia Hleucka, Jaidyn Jackson, Yasmine Pahal, Isabela Pineda, Kiana Raposki, Jacqueline Reinhard, Jenna Rizzo, Harneet Sandhu, Ishana Sandhu and Keira Thompson.

Meantime, the club’s U17G roster shows 18 players, including Jaya Bains, Rhema Maria Batchondo, Alexa Blouin, Sophie Campbell, Amy Connorton, Tiana Couper, Jasdeep Dhaliwal, Sarah Fewings, Joanna Gemmell, Amanda Hila, Sophia Kramer, Soninka Nandha, Melissa Palmer, Sophia Pol, Sonia Sarai, Rachelle Sher-Gill, Anikka Suomi and Breanne Weflen.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Surrey’s Central City men get going against Manitoba reps FC Winnipeg Lions on Oct. 9. The team’s roster includes Amir Amiry, Ajeet Bains, Derrick Bassi, Dzenan Bezdrob, Mamadi Camara, Brendan Campbell, Caleb Clarke, Yassin Essa, Bobby Jhutty, Harry Lakhan, Milad Mehrabi, Nicolas Morello, Luke O’Shea, Andy Phillips, Milad Rahmati, Andres Romo, Shane Satar, Kalem Scott, Arash Shirazi and Boris Si.

CLICK HERE to see Central City Breakers’ roster and schedule for the Challenge Trophy.

Billed as Canada Soccer’s “premier amateur event,” the Toyota National Championships will kick off Oct. 9 with 153 matches to be played across six competitions – including male and female tourneys – in six days across three venues, explains a post at canadasoccer.com. Sixty-three teams will reach the final week in St. John’s, Charlottetown and Edmonton, with the Teck Finals Day set for Thanksgiving Monday, Oct. 14.

A year ago, Coastal FC’s U17 girls team won the national club championship on home turf at South Surrey Athletic Park, and Surrey-based BC Tigers Hurricanes won the Challenge Cup for men, in Saskatoon.

• READ MORE: Two Surrey teams win national soccer championships, from 2018.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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