Luca Basel led the Wildcats in scoring at the provincials, with five goals in five games. (Contributed/Special to The News)

Luca Basel led the Wildcats in scoring at the provincials, with five goals in five games. (Contributed/Special to The News)

Maple Ridge’s Westview finishes second at provincial soccer championships

Wildcats play for the championship against Notre Dame

The Westview Wildcats finished second at the provincial soccer championships, after losing 5-2 to Notre Dame in the Double A final on Wednesday afternoon.

The championships were held Monday to Wednesday at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex, and the Wildcats went through their pool play undefeated, won a semi-final, then played for the championship.

“I’m incredibly proud,” said Dennis Schmidt, who coaches at the secondary school that has a soccer academy.

The academy attracts players from around the world who come Maple Ridge to play the game, and spend a school year in Canada. He said Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany and Japan are all represented by the players on the Westview team.

“The chemistry they had, with five nations coming together, was incredible,” said the coach.

“One of the reasons they come is to play soccer,” he added. “There were tears afterward – it really means a lot to them.”

But they were all smiles on Monday. Westview started with a 5-0 win over John Oliver Secondary of Vancouver, then posted another 13-0 victory over David Thompson Secondary, also from Vancouver, on the opening day of action.

Tuesday they tied Victoria’s Lambrick Park Secondary 1-1 after regulation, then won the game in a shootout.

Their success in pool play sent them to a semi-final, where they won a close 2-1 game over St. Thomas Aquinas. The North Van squad would go on to win the bronze medal.

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Notre Dame Regional Secondary out of Vancouver was a powerhouse this year, and the Maple Ridge team stunned them by scoring – Westview was the only team to get one past their keeper throughout the tournament.

With the score tied 1-1, Notre Dame brought a much more physical game, and Schmidt said the style of refereeing allowed that to work in the favour of the bigger squad.

“To play five games in three days is pretty hard, and they just wore us down,” said the coach.

It was Westview’s second trip to the final four in as many years, and they placed fourth in the 16-team tournament last season.

Tim Gerber, the backup keeper, was chosen for the tournament’s Super 16. He played one half, but the coach said his character and support for his teammates made him the choice.

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