Charles Hays Secondary School senior girls soccer team were runners up in the 2018 northwest zone championships this weekend, placing second behind a strong team from Smithers Secondary School.
Rainmakers hosted this year’s tournament in Prince Rupert, where they went 0-1-1 after tying Caledonia Secondary School in the morning before their loss to the eventual champions from Smithers in the afternoon.
In their first game against Caledonia, the Rainmakers fell behind early in the first half 0-1 despite playing solid defence. The score remained tied through most of the second half as the team struggled to turn their defence into effective scoring opportunities.
Eventually, the Rainmakers won a corner kick, and Emily Cavin was able to score after a high cross fell to her in front of the net. The game went back and forth, but Caledonia was able to score again, this time off a shot from just outside the penalty box, which went just above the reach of goalkeeper Alexi Armstrong.
With time running out, the Rainmakers were able to secure a free kick just inside the halfway line, which crossed in beautifully in front of the Caledonia goal. Caledonia’s goal keeper was unable to secure it and Rainmaker’s forward Reagan Pomponio put away the rebound to secure the crucial 2-2 tie for the Rainmakers.
The tie set up the critical final game against Smithers Secondary School, a fast team that applies a lot of ball pressure with forwards who are a threat to score at any moment.
Rainmakers coach Mike Cavin said the team’s strategy in the game was to minimize the time Smithers’s scorers had with the ball, but unfortunately Smithers’s striker Chantal Gammie was able to break loose twice to score two goals and hand Charles Hays a 0-2 defeat.
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Despite not finishing the season where he would have liked, the team’s head coach Cavin said he was happy with the team’s growth over the course of the season, and their development and poise in playing defence and creating opportunities.
Cavin also gave credit to the team’s Grade 12s — Emily Cavin, Emily Mair, Alexi Armstrong, Reagan Pomponio and Hannah Wittchen — whom he said showed great leadership.
“Our team play and our ability to work the ball up the field was good to see,” he said.