Ballenas forward Emily Tavalino

KSS seniors, BSS juniors bound for North Islands

Girls soccer teams begin postseason play in separate tournaments over the coming week

The Kwalikum Secondary School senior girls soccer team will host the AA North Island championships Monday and Tuesday, with a berth in the Vancouver Island championships on the line.

By then, the Ballenas Secondary juniors will have already learned their fate.

The junior girls North Island tourney kicks off today at Courtenay’s G.P. Vanier field, with four slots available in the May 12-13 Island championships in Mill Bay.

For most schools, the junior team represents the future of the program. But this season, it is also the present for Ballenas, as the senior team was folded due to low turnout this spring.

The Ballenas juniors won their final tune-up for the North Islands, beating visiting Ladysmith 4-3 at Springwood Park last Wednesday to finish the brief regular season with a 4-1 record.

“This team is big; we’ve got a huge group of girls,” junior coach Allison Bach said. “Which is great. We’d like to try to keep everyone together and build up the program again.”

Emiley Tavolino scored two goals and Maya Cudney and Kylee Smith added first-half goals last week as the Whalers rolled to a 4-1 first-half lead over Ladysmith. They had several more quality scoring chances in the second half, but were denied as Ladysmith rallied to make it interesting at the final whistle.

The Ballenas juniors currently have 26 players. The team finished seeded second in the AA mid-Island District, losing only to Nanaimo District Secondary School.

At Kwalikum next Monday, the host Kondors will play games at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., though opponents had not been determined at press time.

Finals will be played Tuesday, with top place-winners advancing to the provincial qualifying Island Championships at St. Michaels University Secondary in Victoria.

—NEWS Staff

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