The Tsawwassen Blues snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to become Coastal “B” Cup champions for the very first time.
The U17 girls rep soccer team stunned the Langley Wolves with a pair of late goals, then added two more in overtime for a 4-2 win on Saturday at the Aldergrove Athletic Park. The Blues will now enjoy a month off before preparing for the Provincial “B” Cup championships slated for early July in Penticton.
After a breakthrough semi-final win sent Tsawwassen to its initial cup final, it sure looked like the locals were going to have to settle for the silver medal.
The Wolves took a 1-0 lead into halftime and carried a 2-0 advantage into the 82nd minute. That’s when Prava Sandhu gave her team life when she found the back of the net during a goal mouth scramble.
In what was surely their last gasp, the Blues were awarded a direct free kick on the edge of the penalty area during injury time. Lauren Joyce made the most of the opportunity with a perfectly placed shot to the top left corner.
Tsawwassen took all the momentum into the 30-minute overtime period, especially when the Wolves lost their starting goalkeeper to an injury. However, the girls had to overcome more adversity when centre back Jamie Wells was forced to leave the game with a concussion. While the coaches were attending to her on the sidelines, Brynn Johnstone got on the end of a cross and gave the Blues their first lead.
Joyce sealed the outcome when she converted a penalty for her second of the game, capping a remarkable change of events.
“This is why we play sports. It certainly didn’t look like we were going to come out as victors,” said Blues coach Lisa Bremner. It was just their perseverance and never wanting to quit. The girls deserve all the credit in the world.”
The Blues roster also features: Danica McCormack, Monique LaRiviere, Jade Albitt, Monica Grewal, Simran Badyal, Baldeesh Dhillon, Andree Coschizza, Taya Bremner, Emma Schaeffer, Chantelle Gouthro, Julia Sasaki and Caitlin Worth.
The coaching staff includes: Angie Wells and Hank Enns.
The teams will meet again in Penticton as part of the round-robin format that features regional winners from throughout the province. The championships are slated for July 9-12. It will be the Blues fourth consecutive trip to provincials.
Their best finish was bronze two years ago in North Vancouver. Last year in Chilliwack, they were in gold medal contention right up until their final round-robin game but were squeezed off the podium.