Two Gorge FC teams will compete in the Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association premier division next season. Last weekend, however, those teams each captured their own provincial championship titles in Burnaby.
On Sunday, Gorge FC Team Sales got a pair of goals from the game’s most valuable player Kiara Kilbey in a 5-3 victory over Surrey-based Coastal FC for the A Cup crown at the Burnaby Lake West Sports Complex.
“Coastal came out like a house on fire for the first 10 minutes but I didn’t think they’d be able to sustain it,” said Gorge coach Dave Dew, adding that fitness and pace carried his youthful team to the win. “We were not so young (as a team) that we were naive, but we had players that could play at a high tempo, and that proved itself in that game.”
Having outlasted Coquitlam’s Metro Ford in a 1-0 extra-time semifinal – Kilbey scored the lone goal on a penalty after being taken down in the box in the 115th minute – Gorge gave up the first goal to Coastal FC 10 minutes into the final. The Island squad rebounded quickly, however, as a well-placed Kilbey header to the lower left corner, finishing off a multi-player run up the left side, knotted the score just a minute later.
Veteran Liz Gregg put Gorge into the lead for good in the 41st minute, following some intense pressure deep on Coastal FC defenders. Her left-footed shot from well out lost some steam off a defender’s leg, but still managed to soar over the keeper’s hands into the top of the goal.
Katie Krauetner made it 3-1 Gorge, getting a foot on a ball Kilbey blasted off the keeper that went up high and came down just off the left post.
In the 57th minute, Kajal Parmar scored her second of the match for Coastal to make a game of it. But Kilbey was taken down in the box 10 minutes later and scored easily on the resulting penalty kick to restore the two-goal advantage.
But the mainlanders didn’t give up and cut the gap again on a beautiful run through the box past defenders for Aman Shergill in the 77th minute. Six minutes later, Gorge used a set play rather than a corner kick to create an excellent chance from the top of the box, and Maddy Yakimovich pounced on a big rebound to make it 5-3.
“We knew right at the start, when we went after the whole idea of bringing in Vikes alumni, and the red shirts that Tracy (Vikes women’s coach David) made available to us, and adding other kids from the Vikes varsity squad that we would have an opportunity (to win the B.C. title),” Dew said.
The win advanced Gorge to the national championships, scheduled for Oct. 5 to 10 in Vaughan, Ont.
The Provincial B Cup final between Gorge FC and Coquitlam Metro Ford SC Galaxy went to a penalty shootout, after a full game and extra time saw no goals scored.
While both teams had opportunities to score in regulation, Gorge’s Bailey Toupin had perhaps the best scoring chance in extra time about 25 minutes in. During a goalmouth scramble in front of the Metro Ford net, she stretched out to get a forward foot on the ball, but watched the ball slowly roll past the left post.
But Gorge shooters were mostly on target in the one-on-one showdown, outscoring Metro Ford 3-1 on goals from Kelsey Marshall, Toupin and Rachel Yager.
Gorge’s Natasha Edwards was named most valuable player for the final.
The Div. 1 Gorge team moves up to the LIWSA premier division next season, having finished first in Div. 1 for 2021-22 with a regular season mark of 12 wins and three draws against one loss.
Dew said the plan will likely be to look at the rosters and determine how to best stock the teams for play in the same division.
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