The Bulkley Valley U18 boys overwhelmed their Terrace rivals on Sunday in the two-game northwest zone finals to advance to the provincial championships in July.
The BV U18 team defeated their opponents 4-0 in the first match before winning 2-0 in the second game to secure a spot at the provincial tournament.
“A big reason for the victory was that the Bulkley Valley players were usually first to the ball and when they did not win the first challenges, there was always someone else there to help out,” team manager and assistant coach Bill Price said.
The opening match remained scoreless through the first half but Bulkley Valley pulled away in the second with four goals for the win.
The Bulkley Valley’s first goal was a looping shot from long range by Owen Rowsell.
The second was on a breakaway, coolly stroked into the net by Eric Faion.
Other Bulkley Valley goals came from Hazelton’s Ryan Wright, Silvio Luther, Marcel Barralon and a second from Faion.
Netminder Rylan Deacon-Rogers also had a standout performance, showing incredible reflexes by stopping a Terrace penalty kick in the first half of the second match.
“He’s a very strong presence and he was up amongst crowds of players, catching balls,” Price said.
“He was excellent.”
Two of the strongest performers for Bulkley Valley were Simon and Clay Kiiskila, the rock in the middle of the defence, Price said.
After four or five seasons together, the team is really starting to gel, coach Chris Luther said.
“They’ve improved every year,” Luther said.
“We now have a team where we can play everyone and not worry.”
With the northwest zone win, the team has earned a place at the U18 provincial championships in Prince George, July 4–7.
The team will continue to play in the Smithers mens’ soccer league in preparation for the tournament.
“Defensively we’re pretty strong, now we have to work on our scoring,” Luther said.
“We scored six goals at zones but we had so many more chances where the ball should have went in.”