The Kwalikum Secondary senior boys soccer team opened their season in Surrey for a AAA tournament last week, earning a sixth place finish for their efforts.
With league play kicking off the first week of October, the senior Kondors squad looks prepared to make a run at the provincials again and feel pretty good about their chances.
“We’re ready for a long run,” head coach Butch Gayton said. “I thought we played well in our first tournament of the season and it gave us a nice look at what our team will look like for the season. Of course, playing against those Triple A schools is always a challenge, no matter what the sport is. But showing that a Double A school like ourselves could play them well like that really can give a team a confidence boost and we’ll see how much confidence we’ve gained heading forward here.”
In their first game of the tournament, the Kondors went up against Fleetwood Park (Surrey), as the Kondors would win the game 2-0. Jacob Watson and Alex Close found the back of the net for KSS in that game, giving them a shutout victory. Game two was against Riverside (Port Coquitlam), which saw the Kondors lose 4-0.
“That game was tough,” Gayton said. “Playing Riverside, we had four or five golden chances to score inside the 18 yard box but each time we just hit the goalie in the hands. They made us pay with the chances they had, scoring on pretty much every chance they had in the game. The score didn’t seem to reflect the game though, it was a good paced, even game all throughout but when it finished, we just happened to be on the losing side.”
Opening up their second day of the tournament against South Delta, it was KSS finding themselves on the losing end once again by a score of 1-0. The Kondors controlled the possession game but couldn’t manage to capitalize on their chances in that game as well. This put the Kondors in the fifth/sixth place game, losing in penalty kicks to Guilford Park (Surrey).
“Not the result we wanted but a good start none the less,” Gayton said. “We were hoping to finish in the top four but we came up short on that one. We played another great game, very strong on possession and we just couldn’t find the back of the net again. But we managed to keep it tied all the way to penalty kicks. Unfortunately, we were still snake bitten there too and couldn’t put one in the net.”
The Kondors will now look to their first game of league play, where they will take on Wellington (Oct. 6) and their cross-town rivals Ballenas Whalers (Oct. 8) to kick off their season.
“We’re excited,” Gayton said. “We got to try out lots of different things in the tournament, working on three different formations and learned we’ve got to come prepared. I think we’re going to have a very good season here and it all starts for us in our first week, taking on Wellington and Ballenas.”