The South Delta Sun Devils sure know how to make up for lost time.
With the B.C. AAA Girls Soccer Championships resuming after a two-year COVID pause, the Sun Devils captured their second provincial banner in school history with a dramatic 3-2 overtime win over Richmond’s McMath Wildcats in a steady downpour on Friday at Cloverdale Athletic Park.
Fittingly with all the players decked out in war paint, the Sun Devils showed their resiliency to twice battle back from one goal deficits to pull out the victory, capped by Gemma Dumas’ go-ahead tally in the first overtime half. It was a script similar to Thursday’s semi-final that saw South Delta rally for a 2-1 win over Argyle, also in extra time.
“There were times this season where the girls had to dig deep and they always did it with the belief in their football and themselves,” said Sun Devils co-coach Brent Sweeney. “They just have the resiliency to not hang their heads and they did that twice today.”
South Delta’s roster featured four Grade 12 players who all have had significant roles with the team since Grade 8. Teila Noble, Brianna Jassmann, Jane McDonald and Kate McDonald were named co-captains and did they ever deliver.
The University of Calgary bound Jassmann was named the tournament’s MVP having led her team in scoring, including a pair of goals in the semi-final and another in the title game.
Noble was superb anchoring the backline and was selected to the Commissioner’s 16 Team for her outstanding play. The McDonald twins played with hustle and determination all over the field, ending a marvelous decade-long run for the family in SDSS athletics that also includes their three football standout brothers.
“We never quit. Anytime we're down, everyone's spirits are always up in such a positive environment. It's honestly insane,” said Noble who will pass on post-secondary playing opportunities to study medicine. “Everyone’s just hyping each other up. There’s never like a negative moment in our team.
“I knew back in Grade 8 there is going to be year during my time in high school that we’re going to win it and we finally did in my senior year. It’s so amazing.”
The Sun Devils other provincial title came back in 2008. They have made it to the gold medal game on four occasions and each time Stephen Burns and Sweeney have been on the sidelines for what has been an incredible run for the longtime SDSS teachers.
“It feels as good as 2008 and maybe a little better just from the sense that we haven’t had football for two years and to come back and win it, especially for our Grade 12s. I’m thrilled for them,” said Burns.
Lucy McCart, who made some key saves in both playoff wins, was recognized for her strong play by being named the tournament’s top goalkeeper.
The rest of the team includes: Kayla Wicks, Nikki Long, Madi Dier, Tomke Bauer, Julia Fechter, Eva Unger, Grace Grannery, Madi Dahl, Lily Yesowick, Angelina Burtini, Rachel Rosser, Mackenzie Campbell and Isabella Burtini.