Make it three senior girls Island championships for the Nanaimo District Secondary School duo of Cassidy Byrne and Jayden Saywell.
The pair helped propel Nanaimo to a 5-2 win over Oak Bay in the Senior Girls AAA Island Soccer Championship final at Oak Bay High on Tuesday. Mackenzie Guild and Ava Alexander each scored twice for Nanaimo, with one from Aleeya Middleton. Ella Hayes and Naomi Devette scored for Oak Bay.
Both teams qualify for the AAA senior girls soccer provincials coming up May 29 to 31 at Cloverdale Park in Surrey.
Regardless, it’s already a monumental season for Byrne and Saywell, as Nanaimo managed to break through Oak Bay’s tough defence.
“Our two teams have some of the strongest players on the Island,” said Byrne. “It’s been quite a competitive atmosphere to play in. I’m really happy with everyone’s level of play and it couldn’t have been a better tournament.”
Both Oak Bay and Nanaimo went 3-0 in the round robin to qualify for the final.
Oak Bay nearly didn’t make it, as they were tied 1-1 with Claremont on Tuesday morning. Both teams were 2-0 in the standings, with the winner facing Nanaimo. Jasmine Lee, who scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Royal Bay on Monday, scored twice against Claremont, including a last-minute goal to win the game.
“We won the first game [Tuesday] and that was our goal, our whole goal was to make provincials,” said Oak Bay captain Presley Rangel. “And yes, Nanaimo is such a good team, their whole forward line is great, they’re so speedy. I think we could have battled harder. But in the second half we created so many more chances.
“Going into provincials, if we bring the same mentality as [Tuesday vs. Claremont] morning we’ll do well.”