The Smithers Secondary AA senior soccer girls are on their way to provincials in Burnaby June 1-4.
The girls qualified for the championships via a zone tournament win in Smithers at Chandler Park the weekend of May 7.
After downing Terrace 3-1 in the opening game, Smithers awaited the outcome of the Terrace-Prince Rupert game to see where they would stand.
When Rupert also defeated Terrace 4-0 assistant coach Carrie Collingwood said the girls faced a must-win scenario.
“It was down to the wire because it was based on goals for and against if we tied,” she said. “If we tied we weren’t going, so it was intense to start because we knew we had to win.”
It quickly became apparent, though, that the Gryphons had the upper hand as they prevailed 4-1. Collingwood attributed the win to a strategy adjustment that shut down some very fast strikers on the Rupert squad.
“Our defence line just held a wall and they couldn’t get by,” she explained.
She said she was very proud of the girls.
“They played so well,” she said. “They played with all their heart. Their team spirit, leadership, their overall play, communication, they really played well as a team.”
Despite the fact this is the senior girls team, the age range is extensive with all the high school grades represented including two Grade 8 players.
“It’s been a good program at the high school for quite a few years and we also have a strong soccer program in the community,” she said, adding it doesn’t hurt that many of the players are multi-sport athletes.
Two Smithers players, Bryer MacLean and Fiona Sullivan, shared tournament player honours.