Royal Bay player Briar Mayoh cuts between Stelly's players Chloe Beech

Ravens soccer program built for future success

‘AA’ Island tournament looms large for Royal Bay girls side

The Royal Bay Ravens senior girls would rather have been playing in yesterday’s Ryan Cup soccer semifinals and competing for a spot in next week’s final.

But Tuesday’s 3-2 home loss to Stelly’s in the city championship quarter-finals leaves the Colwood team with more time to prepare for the Island AA championships.

“We’ll probably actually keep things light for our next training session, because now we have a little bit of time to prep,” said Ravens’ head coach Mariel Solsberg, noting that her players were “the quietest they’ve ever been” after the loss.

“To be honest it’s quite nice that we have a little more time to focus on our technical side, rather than always having a game every week.”

Getting players out to practice can be tough, she added, since they’re committed to a number of different activities.

Royal Bay was dominant in the A/AA league this spring, going 6-0-1 and allowing just one goal against. Despite going undefeated, the Ravens lost the league title to St. Michaels University School. The teams played to a scoreless draw back on April 26, but SMUS was awarded first place due to not giving up a goal all season.

While their second-place league finish qualified them for the Islands, set for June 2 to 4 in Campbell River, Royal Bay players were focused on doing as well as possible in the Ryan Cup competition, Solsberg said. The Cup tournament is the true city championship in that it pits top teams from each of the tiers in a single-knockout format.

In Tuesday’s match, possession was spread fairly evenly between Royal Bay and Stelly’s through the first half, which ended 2-2.

The Ravens largely carried the play in the second but were hard-pressed to come up with many quality scoring chances.

The winning goal came with only a few minutes left in regulation. Stelly’s standout Erin Jackson, who scored both of her team’s goals in the first half, took a pass up the middle and quickly fed Kelsey Boudreau, who drilled a long shot past the Royal Bay goalkeeper.

Brea Christie scored both Royal Bay goals in the opening half.

Asked what has made this group come together so well, Solsberg had a few theories.

“I think they’re really just positive with one another. They all seem to want to get better, want to help each other get better … I haven’t seen a group gel as quickly as they have. I don’t know what it is. If you look at the makeup of the team, it’s such a variety of people, such a variety of ages but for whatever reason it seems to click.”

With a large number of Grade 9 and 10 players who would otherwise be playing in the junior girls division, the Ravens are a great development squad because the older players mentor the younger ones, she said.

“Some of our starters are Grade 9s, going up against Grade 11 and 12s, which I think is fairly unique, and they seemed to fit in quite well,” Solsberg said. “I think that speaks volumes for the future for this group.”

Just Posted

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

City says traffic pattern on Bay Street Bridge will stay as is until October

Commuters began facing long waits on Tuesday morning after the east-bound lane was closed

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

Most Read