The Upper Island Storm U18 girls soccer team qualified for BC Provincial A Cup after upsetting Courtenay U18 Riptide 3-2 in overtime in the Vancouver Island Premier League finals.
“It was a great team win for the Storm girls,” said Larry Stefanek, who is the technical director of the club.
The Storm features players from Nanaimo, Cowichan, Port Alberni, Ladysmith, and Parksville Qualicum Beach. Local players are Olivia Williams, Catalina Magana, Jamie Scollon, Jamie Coukell and Hayley Weeks. The team is coached by Dave Reid and Anup Kang.
Williams and Magana are Grade 12 students at Kwalikum Secondary while Scollon, Coukell, and Weeks are Ballenas Secondary Grade 11 students.
The final, which was played at the Vanier turf in Courtenay, was closely contested match with the Riptide, entering the game with an impressive record of 10 wins and a tie, scoring 34 goals and giving up only five.
The Storm took the early lead at 30th minute on Scollon’s goal but the Riptide tied it up just before the end of the first half. In the second half, the Riptide dominated and had many scoring opportunities. The home team grabbed the lead in the 54th and nearly made it 3-1 when Inara Jawher struck the crossbar on a shot from 30 metres.
The Storm battled back and late in regulation time, their efforts were rewarded when Olivia Ory sent the ball flying into the back of the Riptide net, forcing the match into overtime.
In the first 15-minute period, an unfortunate miscue by the Riptide in defence enabled Scollon to notch the winning goal for the Storm to earn the title of Vancouver Island champions.
The win earned the Storm a spot in the Coastal Cup that will take place in April 18-19.
Being Island champions, the Storm get an automatic berth to the quarter-finals. They also secured a spot in the Provincial A Cup Championships that will take place in Lower Mainland in July.