Nisha Samra (right) of the Fleetwood Park Dragons kicks the ball past Karina Little of the Handsworth Royals during the final game of the Senior AAA girls B.C. high school soccer championships Saturday at South Delta Secondary. Fleetwood Park won 1-0.

Unbeaten season leads Dragons to gold

Fleetwood Park Secondary girls soccer team defeats Handworth Royals in B.C. championship game

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition at Fleetwood Park Secondary.

For the third consecutive season, the Fleetwood Park Dragons advanced to the championship game of the B.C. Girls Senior AAA High School Soccer Tournament, winning 1-0 over the Handsworth Royals Saturday afternoon in South Delta.

“We have created a family mentality with our program,” said Dragons head coach Sunny Uppal.

“Three straight trip to the finals with two golds and a silver is unbelievable.”

The Dragons went into the tournament as Fraser Valley champions, compiling a perfect record in league play and the playoff tournament. They won all 11 games played in the province’s most difficult zone by an aggregate score of 42-4.

Fleetwood Park didn’t lose a game in 16 league, playoff and provincial tournament games. But while they had won every game in regulation time until the provincial tournament, they needed to win a pair of penalty kick contests Friday to get to the championship game.

After a 2-0 win over the W.J. Mouat Hawks and a 4-1 victory over the Kitsilano Blue Demons, the Dragons went into the final game of group play Friday morning tied for first place in their pool with  Oak Bay Secondary.

After playing to a 2-2 tie, the Dragons advanced to the semifinal on penalty kicks.

Later in the day against the South Delta Sun Devils, Fleetwood again won on penalties after the two teams played to a scoreless draw. South Delta went on to win the bronze medal, blanking the Elgin Park Orcas in a consolation game.

“Our girls were pretty tired against a well-rested South Delta team that had qualified for the semifinals the day before,” said Uppal. “We had some luck on our side in that game and our goalkeeper Soninka Nandha kept us in it.”

Simran Billen, a striker, was in goal for both shootouts, making two saves in each contest.

A day later against Handsworth, the Dragons scored the only goal of the game just before halftime when Jessica Galbraith passed to Billen, who then netted the championship-clinching goal.

Galbraith was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, and Simi Lehal earned a commissioner 16 award.

“The girls played outstanding all tournament long,” said Uppal. “Liesanne Musico, Kayla Smith were excellent for us. I’m so proud of the girls.”

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