The Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO) Eagles boys soccer team finished the North Central District Secondary School Athletic Association (NCDSAA) Zone Championship with a bronze medal on Oct. 28.
“Basically, I think it went pretty well. We won two games, lost two,” said centre midfielder and Grade 11 student, Leandro Lang. “We placed top three. We did pretty well. We didn’t lose too badly and we were able to get third at the tournament.”
The first game the team played was on Sunday, Oct. 27. Down 2-0 to D.P. Todd Secondary School of Prince George, centre midfielder Florian Holzapfel (also in Grade 11) tied it up with two long-range shots from outside the 18-yard box.
The brace was described as ‘nice’ by head coach Sean Glanville. Holzapfel said the game, which resulted in a 4-2 win for PSO after Ryan Vincenz (also team captain) scored another brace, as his highlight of the championship.
The second game was a 4-1 loss to College Heights, also of Prince George, who would end up being the champions. Vincenz scored the lone goal.
On Monday, the PSO started the day off with a 4-0 loss to Prince George’s Duchess Park. Robert Waldner played in net, with Glanville saying he was phenomenal and made some great saves.
The fourth game, which was also for the bronze medal, was a rematch with D.P. Todd.
Again, PSO started off trailing 1-0 before Lang scored from the corner kick.
“I was the corner taker,” said Lang, who attributed this moment as his highlight. The ball was guided in by heavy winds.
The game would stay 1-1 for the duration of regular time, forcing the game into penalty kicks, which PSO won 4-2 with Holzapfel and brother, Max, Land and Vincenz scoring. Waldner also made two saves in the shootout.
When asked what the team could improve on for the future, Holzapfel said, “As a team, knowing each other more, know what we’re going to do and where we’re going to pass the ball. Better chemistry.”
Lang mentioned exploring good passing options.
“When I entered the year, I thought it would be a rebuild year because we lost a lot of talented players to graduation. I was pleasantly surprised because all the players this year had limited roles in the past, they really stepped up and grew a lot physically skill-wise this season,” said Glanville. “This was actually the best season we’ve had. We went to three tournaments and medaled at all of them.”
The Zone Championships was the wrap-up for PSO’s outdoor season, while winners College Heights will go on to represent the Zone at the Provincial AA Championships in Burnaby next month.
The indoor season will start on Nov. 22, with PSO hosting a tournament involving Ashcroft, Williams Lake and Hope.
“We’re going to try to train through the winter so the boys are better prepared next year and help them improve,” said Glanville.