SSS girls win zone crown

Team goes undefeated at Kitimat tournament, will travel to provincials.

The Smithers Secondary Gryphons girls soccer team is going to provincials after an undefeated weekend at zones in Kitimat.

“It was a great effort from the girls,” head coach Brian Irvine said. “The girls played their hearts out, they worked hard and played a team game all the way through.”

The Gryphons had their most dominating performance of the tournament in their first game, with a pass-heavy attack that led to a 3-0 win over Prince Rupert.

From there, the defence took over. They tallied back-to-back 1-0 wins over Kitimat and Terrace on Saturday to post a 3-0 record over the tournament.

“The other teams just didn’t have a lot of scoring opportunities,” Irvine said.

“The team and our goalies played great defence and we managed to keep the ball in our opponents end and control the play.”

It was the girls’ seventh straight game without a loss to open up the 2014 season.

Now, the girls will gear up for provincials, which take place in Penticton in two week’s time.

They’ll try to get an extra practice or two in before then in order to get themselves ready.

But with a long weekend coming up, and with all the usual end-of-school-year activities, it’s always hard to squeeze extra training time in.

For a team from the north, with such a short season, going up against teams that play all year long, the just gaining experience is a victory.

“We always want to win, but more importantly, we want these girls to continue to develop as players and to develop a love for the game.

“Going down to provincials will expose them to a higher, more exciting level of play and help them elevate their games.”

Sixteen teams from various zones across the province will be represented in Penticton.

“Our boys have had some success there in the past, so hopefully we can go down there and surprise a few people.”