The Kwalikum Kondors senior boys soccer team has secured a berth in the Island championships, winning their first two games of the North Island tournament on Tuesday afternoon.
Needing a win in their second game to advance through to the Islands, the Kondors took on Francis Kelsey Secondary (Mill Bay). With goals from Daniel Doukakis, Blair Stewart and Colin Koelewyn, the Kondors found their second win of the tournament, punching their ticket to the Island championships.
“I thought we were a little tentative in the first game,” head coach Butch Gayton said. “We seemed a little uncomfortable with what we were doing early on in that game against Isfeld but we scored a couple of goals, including that beautiful goal from Tony Trozzo, which seemed to loosen everyone up quite a bit from that point on.”
Kicking things off against Mark Isfeld Secondary (Comox) in their first game of the tournament, the Kondors played their way to a 3-0 victory, with goals coming from Stewart, Doukakis and the highlight-reel worthy goal from Trozzo, who weaved his way past four defenders before putting the ball in the top left hand corner with the shot coming off the outside of his right foot.
“What a goal,” Gayton said. “That one stands as goal of the year for us right now. I say ‘right now’ because there’s still games left to be played but it’s sure going to be hard to top that one. He made it look effortless and the finish was just amazing to see. I didn’t really know how to react when it went in, I sort of just stood there and nodded my head, it was a beauty.”
With the two wins, KSS has secured a spot in the Island Championships, which will take place in Victoria next week. But with two wins in the North Island tournament (as of Tuesday), there was still one more game left in pool play on Wednesday morning, before the finalé Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re not looking to put it on cruise control,” Gayton said. “These boys have worked hard in practice and in games and they want to finish this tournament strong.”
“We don’t want to mail it in and give guys some rest for the remainder of the tournament to save up for the Islands. We’re looking to get that number one spot here at the North Islands so we can put ourselves in the best position possible heading into the Island tournament.”
The Kondors were scheduled to play Carihi (Campbell River) on Wednesday morning (score not available at press time), with the chance to remain undefeated in pool play.
Should the Kondors win the game; they would find themselves in the championship final.
“We set out at the start of the season to make provincials,” Gayton said. “I think this team is really hitting its stride right now and we’re going to look to continue that through to the Islands, where we can hopefully continue to play the quality game we’ve been playing as of late.”