Kwalikum Secondary School’s senior boys soccer team heads into the AA North Island finals feeling good about their game and eager to get back to the BCs.
They are bolstered by the fact the first round of the playoffs is being held in their own backyard.
The Kondors closed out league play at home last Thursday with a 3-1 win over Brentwood College.
“They were game — they were ready and excited to play,” Kondors’ coach Butch Gayton said of the visitors, who came out charging.
BC opened the scoring about 10 minutes in off a penalty kick.
“Well deserved — they outplayed us in the first 10 minutes and had us under constant pressure,” said Gayton. “Being down 1-0 certainly rattled us … once we get scored on though we tend to react favourably.”
That they did on Thursday, as the Kondors reeled off three goals before the break, and the two teams played to a scoreless second half.
Ben Robson delivered a dandy deke and feed to Andreas Zehrer who fed the empty net for the Kondors’ first goal.
Robson intercepted a Brentwood College throw-in and streaked in alone to make it 2-1, and Owen Mathison buried his own rebound just before the break.
Gayton said his side controlled most of the play in the second half and came close to scoring several times, “but were unable to find the twine.”
That win lifted KSS to 4-1 for second in the six-team AA Mid-Island league, and secured them a berth in next week’s eight-team AA Senior Boys North Island Soccer Championships slated for Qualicum Beach Rec Fields.
Games run all day Tuesday and Wednesday.
The top four teams advance to the Island finals slated for Nov. 8-9 at St. Michaels University School in Victoria.
Asked about the mood in the dressing room heading into they North Islands, Gayton said, “we’re not nervous, were just anxious and we’re ready to start the tournament.”
KSS’ junior boys soccer team finished first in their Mid-Island league at 4-0 and are in Campbell River Thursday and Friday (today) for their eight-team North Island Championships with the top four teams advancing to the Island finals.
“That’s a very solid group heading up to Campbell River,” said Gayton, who also coaches the juniors.
“They’re a dangerous lot.”
The Kondors open the AA Senior Boys North Island championships 9:30 a.m. Tuesday versus the Carihi Tyees .
The locals return to the pitch at 2 p.m. to take on Nanaimo’s John Barsby.
Game three goes 10:30 a.m. Wednesday against the Highland Raiders, “and then hopefully at 3:30 in the finals …” said Gayton.
The top four teams play off at 3:30 p.m.
KSS finished fourth at the North Islands last year, third at the Islands and third in the province.