St. Andrew’s snares third provincial soccer crown

Sabres down West Point Grey Academy 2-1 in B.C. ‘A’ senior boys soccer championship

The St. Andrew’s Sabres celebrate the High School A Boys provincial boys soccer championship. St. Andrew’s beat the West Point Grey Wolves 2-1 in the final. Submitted

The St. Andrew’s Sabres captured their third B.C. ‘A’ senior boys soccer championship Saturday in Nakusp.

Tournament MVP Michael Keane and Nick Skabeikis scored to give the Sabres a 2-1 victory in the final over West Point Grey Wolves of Vancouver.

Grade 8 goalie Quintin Nicoll saved a penalty in the last minute of injury time to preserve the win.

Nicoll saw the shooter looking one way, but didn’t believe the shooter and dove the opposite way and made the save, said Sabres coach Mark Cristante, though the coach nearly convinced him otherwise.

“I was trying to get Nicoll’s attention to tell him I had seen the same guy shoot a penalty shot the day before, he used that trick to shoot to shoot the same way as he was looking,” Cristante said. “I’m glad he didn’t listen me. For a young guy he played outstanding.”

Nicoll joined the Sabres senior team as he was unable to play for the junior team due to a conflict with his club soccer, which trains on the same days. However, he had no conflict with the senior club.

“We’re a small school, we don’t have a lot of numbers,” Cristante said.

The provincial title was the St. Andrew’s second tournament win this year as they won the Island boys A championship in a 4-0 final over Glenlyon Norfolk Gryphons in October.

The Sabers also hosted the B.C. Catholic Tournament and finished third.

That they won provincials was nearly a miracle in itself. St. Andrew’s dropped the opening game 1-0 to the Credo Christian Kodiaks. Though they bounced back with a 4-0 win over the Lake Districts Lakers in the second game, St. Andrew’s was in a situation where they needed to beat the Immaculate Mustangs by a two-goal difference to advance to the semifinal.

“We were tied 1-1 against the Mustangs with three minutes left and scored two more goals to win by the two-goal margin that we needed,” Cristante said.

Even if St. Andrew’s had defeated Immaculata 2-1, they would have played for ninth place. Instead, the Sabres advanced to the semifinal and defeated the Meadowridge Gryphons 4-2, setting up a berth in the final against West Point Grey.

“The emotional roller coaster was incredible, a lot of stuff landed our way and you need a bit of luck to win,” said Cristante.

Michael Keane was named the tournament MVP and scored a total of four goals.


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