The Prince Rupert Under-17 rep team earned a 1-1 draw and nearly upset the B.C. champion Saanich Fusion. Prince Rupert defeated Terrace in zones to reach the Richmond tourney.

Prince Rupert U17 Reps nearly defeat B.C. champions

It's no secret that the wealth of players to choose from for any Prince Rupert rep team often leaves much to be desired.

It’s no secret that the wealth of players to choose from for any Prince Rupert rep team often leaves much to be desired compared to some more populous B.C. towns.

But that didn’t stop Cullen Riley and the rest of the Under-17 eager Rupert youth, whose desire to bring down Terrace on the soccer pitch drove them to create a squad that would almost bring the B.C.’s top team to its knees at provincials in Richmond in early July.

“In Prince Rupert, we don’t really have rep teams so when you get one going you don’t have a lot to choose from because we don’t actually have that many people who actually play competitive soccer who want to, so when you select people, it’s like OK, we’ll work with what we have,” said Riley.

And what they had was good enough to be one minute away from topping the eventual Under-17 champions, Saanich Fusion after beating Terrace during Northwest zones.

“We should have won,” said Riley.

“They scored an offside goal with a minute left in the game. The linesman put his flag up and the referee overruled it. He was on the centre-line and said ‘no, it’s not offside’ and the linesman had the better view but whatever. We were all a little angry about that.”

Every match, save for the Saanich game, which ended 1-1, was played on a grass field, something the Rupertites weren’t used to, having typically played most of their matches with the Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association at Charles Hays field, a turf pitch.

“It’s so different when you play on grass. When you pass the ball it doesn’t go as far … we got so used to turf and then when you play on grass it’s a way different calibre of soccer,” said the centre midfielder.

Shutout losses to Richmond, Coquitlam and Columbia had the Fusion at first, overconfident versus the Northwest zone winners, then reeling once Rupert took it to them.

“We played Saanich on turf and they were like ‘who the hell are these kids?’,” said Riley.

At zones, the Ruperities downed Terrace, 3-1 in their first game, and tied them, 0-0 in the second, advancing on goal differential.

Paul Cavin and Riley hooked up to tie the affair at one after Terrace opened the scoring in the opening match.

Karan Gill and Tyler Matalone added singles for the win.

Cullen’s dad, Peter, the coach of the team, thanked the squad’s sponsors for helping send them to provincials and Cullen added his appreciation.

“If we didn’t have those sponsors, we probably wouldn’t have went,” said Cullen.

“They meant so much.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Rugby summer scrimmages get a professional touch

Former national team members hit the field with local players during weekly games

VIDEO: Kaien Anti-Poverty Society hoping to raise $20K in 50/50 community bingo nights

KAPS is looking to raise money for a new vehicle to support their growing food program

Heart of Our City: Kaps off to Colleen Hermanson

Colleen Hermanson began working in social services as early as 1968

Snickers and Superheroes at Udderfest

Fantasy and frivolity the Friday festival offerings

Rupert Lawn and Garden awards build contract for new site to Prince Rupert firm

Garden centre also set to announce temporary location while construction takes place

Captain, all-star, MVP, and all about the team

Brittanne O’Connor’s drive to create Prince Rupert’s own women’s team has led to success and inspiration

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

The Northern View 2019 Readers Choice

It’s that time of year again! Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Aug. 30

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Most Read