After seventeen years of dwelling at the bottom of the standings, the UBC Okanagan women’s soccer team is going somewhere they have never been before. The playoffs.
This recent playoff berth comes in the wake of seventeen years of futility. Between 1992 and 2004, OC, OUC have never finished higher than 4th place in their division, and in the past four seasons since the school became UBC Okanagan, they finished no higher than 6th. Not only is this their first season with a record above .500, but they are also favoured to do well heading into the playoffs, sitting in second place in their division, with only Thompson Rivers University looming over them in their division.
This is a tremendous success story, especially considering that this is a team that finished with only 1 point in 14 games just four years ago, and has 18 points in 13 games this season. A large part of that success has been the positive attitude employed by the coaches and players. Head coach Claire Peterson had this to say about her team’s efforts “It’s an exciting time to be involved in the program. I’m really, really thankful that I have the opportunity to be working with such a great group of girls.”
This is a young well rounded team that can be very dangerous during this Provincial Championships. Any team that boasts a first team BCCAA all-star and the leagues leading goal scorer, Alexa Kennedy, will be tough to deal with. But the Heat proved last weekend that when teams try to shut down Kennedy one of the team’s young players are ready to step up. Against Douglas first year forward from Kelowna Secondary tallied 2 goals as the Royals were so focused on stopping Kennedy it opened things up for other players. Another first year player and BCCAA all-star, Jennifer Kidd a defender whose deadly precision with her long range shots tallied 3 goals in the 12 game season will attack when the opportunity presents itself. With these three plus the many others that make up this exciting squad will leave everything on the field in their quest to bring home a medal in Soccer for the first time.
This year’s playoffs take place this coming weekend at Douglas College in Coquitlam. The team’s first game will be against Capilano University on Friday at 4:00pm.
For up-to-date scores and developments, check out the BCCAA Provincials web site: http://www.bccaa.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=334&Itemid=153