Melissa Orton got more than she expected when she took on the head coach role of the Lambrick Park Lions senior girls soccer team.
The Lions finished third at the AA provincials in Kamloops last week.
“It was rewarding – far beyond what I had imagined. I know why coaches do it now,” Orton said.
Orton is a 2009 Lambrick grad and now plays for the Vancouver Island University Mariners and Gordon Head premier soccer teams. As a Grade 10 defender on the senior team in 2007, she helped the Lions to the triple crown, winning the city’s Ryan Cup, the AA Island and provincial championships.
“We won it all, but even with all the (school and club soccer) I played I never took into account what it would be like for coaches,” Orton said.
This year she stepped in to coach late in the season but never skipped a beat, crediting a team of hard-working, skilled and understanding players.
Players and parents thanked Orton following Lambrick’s 2-0 win over St. Thomas More in the bronze-medal game.
Emma Entzinger scored both goals, and was awarded the golden boot for the tournament. She also scored Lambrick’s only goal in the 2-1 semifinal loss to eventual winner Seycove.
Lambrick ran the table in the round robin, defeating Sands, Duchess Park and McNair. The only goal Lambrick surrendered prior to the semifinal came on a penalty kick. But Seycove was just too much for Lambrick, Orton said.
“For the first 12 minutes it was end-to-end, but as the game wore on Seycove dominated nearly all of it, and they deserved to win it. I told the girls, ‘don’t carry that negativity through to the (bronze medal) game,’ because they deserved to go home with a medal.”
Lambrick rebounded with a controlling win over St. Thomas More. It was the best Orton saw them play all year.
Lambrick’s Sarah Lefebvre was named to the Commissioner’s 11.
The Claremont Spartans finished 10th and Belmont Bulldogs 12th among the 16 teams at the AAA senior girls soccer provincials in Surrey. Glenlyon Norlfolk School won its third straight single-A championship.