Some bad luck left the Rossland Secondary School Royals on the outside looking in at the playoff picture at the AA girls provincial field hockey championship, but it was definitely not for lack of effort.
With a win in the round robin against Okanagan Mission Secondary the Royals likely would have made it into the medal round, but another tie put them in third as Crofton and Shawnigan Lake, the eventual finalist, advanced.
The Royals were leading 1-0 when Okanagan spoiled their chance to advance by scoring in the final minute to tie the match at 1-1.
After losing to Crofton 1-0 by another late goal, and tying Shawnigan 0-0, the two ties were not enough to advance as Shawnigan beat Okanagan to earn the second place berth.
“The two goals in pool play both came in under a minute in both games,” said coach Donna Hebert. “That showed our inexperience to stay composed at the end of the game.”
However, RSS finished the consolation round in fine form. After bowing 1-0 to G.W. Graham Secondary despite carrying the play, the Royals defeated Okanagan Mission 3-0 in a rematch, and downed L. V. Rogers 2-1 to finish atop the consolation pool.
“Our girls played very well, our defence was solid all around allowing very few shots on net.”
Goaltender Kaela Zimmer was outstanding throughout the tournament, however, the Royals offensive output was lacking.
“Had we been able to score a few more goals we would have placed significantly higher. All around we are disappointed in our placing because it does not in any way reflect how we played as a team.”
Hebert says the team effort was one of the best she has seen at the provincial tournament, especially since the average age of the forward line on the team is less than 15 years old.
“I am very proud of each and every one of them, and not disappointed in any way in their efforts. They have matured a great deal this year as players, and it has been a very rewarding experience for the coaching staff.”