After years of dedication, the U-15 Westcoast FC girls team qualified for the provincial championship, which played out in Nelson last weekend.
They finished in fifth place, but came within a goal of being able to play for the bronze medal.
For three years the team has seen more losses than wins, and lost many players to other teams. But the core stuck together and finally in January something clicked.
They went on a nine-game winning streak and came first in the Lower Mainland.
On the way, they defeated several powerhouse soccer clubs, including North Vancouver twice and three-time provincial medalists Marpole.
The provincial B championship tournament began with a round-robin pool. The Westcoast girls had two ties and one loss – downed by eventual champion Marpole.
This led to a three-way tie, ranking with Victoria and Terrace. The tie-breaker came down to goals for and against, and the Westcoast girls came one goal away from going to the bronze medal game.
Despite the disappointment, the girls fought a hard game against the host Nelson Selects, and won the game 2-0.
The first goal came from a strong shot by defender Bronte Elphick-Miner that deflected off a Nelson girl and was scooped up by Kirsten Senchyna and smashed into the net.
Brooke Dyke pounded in the security goal.
The girls are now looking forward to a new season and fighting for a spot in next year’s championship in Penticton, said coach Dave De Genova
His assistant coaches were Kier Miner and Tim Steel.
Team members: Elphick-Miner, Senchyna, Dyke, Amanda Apps, Katelyn Bligh, Jordan De Genova, Amelia Hayes, Cassidy Hoffert, Kara Holbrook, Erin Laverty, Kayleigh McNeil, Hayley Bushel, Caleigh Pedan, Hannah Reid, and Alexa Steel.