Losing the B.C. girls high school AAA soccer final 1-0 to perennial powerhouse Argyle Pipers was a bitter pill to swallow for the Oak Bay Breakers.
Reflecting on her team’s performance this season and at last weekend’s provincial tournament in North Vancouver, however, Oak Bay co-captain Katie Hanson had nothing but admiration for her teammates.
“I think this group is really special in the way everyone was able to commit entirely to the program and our main goal, which was to get to provincials,” the Grade 12 defender said. “I’m really proud of the way everyone competed and was committed.”
As it was all season, the Breakers’ backline was a brick wall through the tournament, giving up just one goal in regulation or overtime. Grade 12s Hanson, Elise Butler and Jessie Collison – who played together since Grade 9 – and Grade 11 Sabine Boisvert drew the praise of coach Brent Garraway for their work ethic and leadership.
“We make (the program) about way more than just the soccer. A big part of it is them maturing and growing up and learning life lessons,” he said.
Tournament host Argyle Pipers scored around the 30-minute mark in the final, then went into shutdown mode. The Breakers had several scoring opportunities in the second half, including a two-on-none that saw Meghan Kivell’s attempted pass to a teammate intercepted by Pipers’ goalkeeper, Austin Studor, who was named tournament most valuable player.
“We were in their end quite a bit and there were a lot of good chances,” Hanson said. “Their goalie just stood on her head.”
It was the first time Oak Bay had reached the B.C. championship match since 2009, when the Breakers lost to North Van’s powerhouse, Handsworth.
It was Oak Bay’s fourth silver medal in the past 10 years, during which the team has finished fourth or better five times.
Butler and up-and-coming Grade 9 player Holly Goodacre scored in the Breakers’ 2-0 semifinal win over Kitsilano.