The Stelly’s Stingers edged the Oak Bay Breakers 1-0 (3-2) in a penalty kick shootout to decide the Island AAA high school girls soccer champions at Hampton Park on Tuesday.
It was a tough loss for the Breakers and an even tougher one for the Ryan Cup champ Belmont Bulldogs, who were beat out for a spot in the AAA final on a tiebreaker of goal differential which went to the Stingers.
In pool play Belmont defeated Cowichan 5-0, tied Stelly’s 2-2, and defeated Dover Bay 3-1. Stelly’s beat Dover 2-0 and Cowichan 5-0.
Belmont’s goal surrendered to Dover Bay turned out to be the difference maker.
“There’s nothing you can do about it. It was decided before the tournament and there’s only two spots,” said Belmont coach Bud Livingstone.
“It’s just a shame to see a team which went undefeated in regulation all season miss a trip to provincials.”
Belmont’s only two losses this season came in penalty kick shootouts during the UVic high school tournament last month.
The Stingers and Breakers qualify for the AAA senior high school girls soccer provincials at Argyle secondary in North Vancouver, May 30 to June 1.
It was a “gritty” performance by both finalists as it was their fourth game in two days.
“The final game was just sheer determination and grit by both teams,” said Stingers coach Jackie Cunningham.
“Both teams were exhausted and battled like warriors. The shootout came down to the team who made one less mistake.”
Stelly’s keeper stopped three of saves to clinch the win.
Perhaps lost in the many AAA girls soccer story lines is the potential for the Oak Bay Breakers to hit the final four at the AAA provincials.
The team is backed by Peninsula Co-op Highlanders defender Elise Butler, a constant director of traffic on the field and leader off and on it.
Stelly’s last competed in the provincials as hosts in 2010. Prior to that the Stinger’s last reached provincials in 2006.
Pool play results from AAA Island high school girls soccer championship
Oak Bay 5 Alberni 0Oak Bay 3 Reynolds 0Carihi 5 Alberni 0Carihi 1 Reynolds 0Reynolds 3 Alberni 0Carihi 0 Oak Bay 0Stelly’s 2 Dover 0Stelly’s 5 Cowichan 0Belmont 5 Cowichan 0Belmont 2 Stelly’s 2Dover 3 Cowichan 0Belmont 3 Dover Bay 1