Just 90 minutes separated the Tamanawis Wildcats from a provincial championship.
Unbeaten in league and Fraser Valley championship play, the senior AAA boys high school soccer team did the expected and qualified for the final four playoff at last week’s B.C. championship tournament in Burnaby, but were eliminated with a 2-1 loss to the Charles Best Blue Devils in a semifinal game Friday afternoon.
Tamanawis claimed third place Saturday afternoon, topping the Burnaby South Rebels Wildcats 2-0 in consolation play.
“It’s just a little disappointing, considering the expectations,” said Wildcats co-coach Paul Rai. “But other the that, we’re proud of the kids. They battled. It’s not like we had one or two bad games.”
The Wildcats cruised through the competition at the Fraser Valley championships, winning four straight games by a combined score of 23-2. The closest game was a 6-2 victory over the Terry Fox Ravens in the championship game.
Two wins to start the provincial tournament clinched a semifinal berth, making the third game – a 1-0 loss to the Oak Bay Bays – meaningless.
But just their second loss of the season dashed their championship hopes.
“Charles Best was the team we wanted to compete with and we had a great game against them,” said Rai. “It was a 2-1 game against a very good team.”
Pratap Sandhu of the Wildcats was named to the Commissioner’s 11 team, a list of the most outstanding player from each of the 16 teams.
n The Enver Creek Cougars placed 11th at the Senior AAA championships, closing out the tournament with a 3-0 win over the Heritage Woods Kodiaks. Enver Creek lost their first consolation game 4-1 to the Sardis Falcons.
The Cougars placed third in their group, defeating the Dover Bay Dolphins 1-0 in the first game before falling 3-1 to the Terry Fox Ravens then playing to a 2-2 tie with the Lord Byng Grey Ghosts.
Zora Sandhu was the Cougars player in the Commissioner’s 11.
n The Sands Scorpions were 13th at the 16-team Senior AA provincial tournament, staged Nov. 19-21, also in Burnaby.
After three losses in round robin play, the Scorpions won both consolation games, edging the D.P. Todd Trojans of Prince George 1-0, then blanking Carihi Tyees of Campbell River 4-0.
Max Williams of the Scorpions shared the Golden Boot award as top scorer with six other players, while Sean Kamensek was the Sands player on the Commissioner’s 11 list.
The Scorpions placed fourth at the eight-team Fraser Valley championship tournament.