The Peter Skene Ogden Eagles senior girl’s soccer team faced a ton of adversity at the Hope Secondary Invitational Soccer Tournament April 7 to 8 and came through with flying colours. The Eagles could only muster 10 players to attend the tournament, meaning they would be forced to play a man down and have no subs.
The tournament featured 11 teams from across the province including schools from Abbotsford, Surrey, Lillooet, Clearwater, Enderby, Merritt, Golden, Barriere, Slocan and hosts Hope.
“Being the first weekend back from spring break along with several outside factors we were really hard pressed to field a team this weekend,” says Eagles coach Sean Glanville.
“For us to have success we needed to stay injury free and have a maximum effort from all 10 players which we did. The tournament organizer told me just how impressed he was with the heart and effort from our girls,” said Glanville.
The Eagles opened the tourney Friday with a 3-0 victory over Lillooet Secondary. Charlie McQueen, Rylea Pigeon and Stephanie Hilstad scored for the Eagles. Chantelle Walters picked up the shutout in goal. In game two the Eagles showed a lot of heart in defeating Hope in front of their school crowd 1-0. Despite having the ball in their end most of the game PSO defence stayed solid and Pigeon scored on the counter attack poking the ball off the goalpost and barely over the line to give PSO the win. Walters made some phenomenal saves for her second straight shutout.
The Eagles took on eventual tournament champions Merritt in game three. They dropped a close 1-0 decision. Merritt got a measure of revenge on PSO who finished ahead of them at the Hope Indoor tournament last month. In their fourth and final round robin game PSO needed a regulation victory against A.L. Fortune Secondary of Enderby to advance to the semi finals. Allison Carr gave PSO the lead on a penalty shot after McQueen was taken down inside the box to make it 1-0. Enderby tied the score up at 1-1 heading into half time. In the second half McQueen poked the ball home from in close off a corner kick scramble to make it 2-1 and re-take the lead. However, Enderby would tie things up moments later. It looked as if the game was destined for a draw and the Eagles would slide down to play in the 5-8th place bracket until Kailey Lund scored on a beautiful shot from distance into the side netting to give PSO a 3-2 win.
With the Eagles 3-1 win-loss record they finished third out of 11 on points, setting up a rematch with Merritt in Saturday’s semi final. In the semi, while most of PSO’s competition agreed to play 10-aside, the Merritt team played with 11 and the extra player and numerous subs eventually wore down a tired PSO team as the Eagles fell 3-1. In the third-place game PSO dropped a nail-biter to Surrey Christian 1-0 who also opted to play with a full 11 players.
The Eagles wound up fourth overall, a major improvement over last year’s eighth place performance.
Other Eagles players who played well all weekend included Sereena Alex, Dayna Meger and three junior players including Nicole Varney (Gr. 10), Ivy Sahara (Gr.9) and Stephanie Hilstad (Gr. 8). Hilstad and Carr were chosen as team’s Most Valuable Players for the tournament.
“Allison Carr was really the backbone of what was kind of a make-shift defensive line and played great and Stephanie Hilstad for only being in Grade 8 stayed step for step with some really quick forwards playing outside defence and coaches were super impressed with her,” says Glanville.
A huge shout out goes out to all the parents who drove down to support the girls and PSO coaches Greg Lund and Sarah Tostenson also did an excellent job preparing the girls each game.
Next on the agenda for the Eagles is an exhibition trip April 21-23 in Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton followed by the Lake City Secondary Tournament May 6-7 in Williams Lake and winding up with the AA North Central Zone Championships May 15-16 in Prince George.