With a top-four placing at last week’s UBC Soccer Kickoff tournament the Oak Bay Breakers senior girls soccer team leads the high school into the spring sports season.
The Breakers are in action this week, Thursday and Friday, as the defending champions of the annual Nike Spring Classic at the University of Victoria. Game 1 is Thursday AM at 10 a.m. versus Sa-Hali out of Kamloops.
READ MORE: Breakers win 2018 Nike Spring Classic
As Oak Bay is also competing in the district’s new Ultimate Frisbee high school league launching this spring, Oak Bay has soccer, tennis, rugby and track and field, all sports Oak Bay High’s made a tradition out of being successful in.
Surrey’s Fleetwood Dragons, who will host this year’s AAA senior girls provincials, won the UBC Kickoff, a showcase tournament with many of the top AAA teams.
Both the UBC Kickoff and the Nike Classic are important as they offer non-pressure, non-league opportunities to play soccer at a high level, said Breakers coach Kate Baker, a former UVic Vike.
“Nike Classic is a good chance to play a couple of mainland teams, try new formations, and just get extra games in that help,” she said.
The Breakers are led by UVic Vikes bound Presley Rangel, their captain. Rangel wants nothing more than to reach the provincials again, a feat the senior girls Breakers haven’t managed since she played for the senior team as a Grade 9 (this year’s senior team features three girls from Grade 9).
On Tuesday the Breakers blanked perennial rivals Claremont Spartans 3-0 to continue their strong season.
“We were always really strong, we were disappointed when we lost in the Island semifinal last year and missed provincials,” said Rangel, a gifted player who moves throughout the lineup but who might be most dangerous at midfield and striker. “I’m already seeing improvements this year and I really believe we can make provincials.”
This year’s Senior Breakers feature three Grade 9 players who are strong enough to jump up. It’s rare, Baker agreed, but it’s only made possible because with such a strong group of the junior Breakers are a highly capable squad. Which means Oak Bay is once again in the middle of what should be a long run of strong Breakers soccer teams.
“We do have a lot of Grade 12s graduating this year so it’s hard to [project] what will happen with the juniors, with how many Grade 10s we might pull up next year, but there’s a lot of talent,” Baker said.