Sun Devils host provincial championships

South Delta Sun Devils will be looking to make the most of home field advantage when the 2016 B.C. AAA Girls Soccer Championships kickoff Thursday in Tsawwassen.

The 16-team event will take place on four fields - SDSS Oval, South Park, Peeble Hill and the Winskill Turf. The SDSS Oval will be the featured venue with a main concession and a SoccerCity store. It will also host two semi-final games Friday (12:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.) as well as the medal games Saturday - 10 a.m. (bronze) and gold (12:15 p.m.).

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The Sun Devils are coming off an impressive fifth place finish at the highly-competitive Fraser Valley Championships to earn their record 15th straight provincial tournament berth. South Delta won four of five games during the Valley playoffs, including a pair of must-win scenarios after a 3-2 quarter-final loss.

The hosts open pool play Thursday (11 a.m.) against Centennial and also face Argyle at 2:45 p.m. Both games take place at the SDSS Oval. The Devils will close out preliminary play Friday 9 a.m. against Cranbrook's Mt. Baker. Only the first place team in each of the four pool groups remains in championship contention - advancing directly to Friday afternoon's semi-final.

Centennial finished fourth at the Valley Championships, while Argyle is No. 4 in the most recent provincial rankings.

Other pre-tournament favourites include No. 1 Oak Bay, Fraser Valley champion Fleetwood Park, Elgin Park and Richmond's McMath Wildcats.

It will be a hectic three-days for South Delta co-coach Stephen Burns, who not only has organizational duties but is also coaching McMath for the third-straight year. The Richmond resident's daughter Ali is the team's starting goalkeeper.

The Wildcats head to Tsawwassen unbeaten in regular season and the playoffs - defeating Kitsilano 3-0 to win their zone championship.

The four tournament pool groups are as follows: Pool "A": McMath, Handsworth, Sardis, Reynolds.

Pool "B": Elgin Park, South Kamloops, Charles Best, Correlieu.

Pool "C": Argyle, Centennial, South Delta, Mt. Baker.

Pool "D": Fleetwood Park, Oak Bay, Kitsilano, WJ Mouat.

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