Royal Bay Secondary school’s senior girls’ soccer team is hoping to make their way into the history books this month.
The team’s 21 players, alongside head coach Brian Hobson and coach Moira Hood, are aiming to be the school’s first soccer team to earn a berth at provincials.
“The basketball teams have done it and the volleyball teams have done it, and some of the other teams have, but we’ve never had a soccer team that’s qualified for provincials,” Hobson said. “I think the girls have a good shot at challenging some of the other teams on the Island for a berth in the provincials.”
While the season is relatively short (teams begin practice in the weeks leading up to spring break with league games beginning in April), it’s been a successful one for the the team so far.
The team is 4-1 on the season, with wins over Glenlyon Norfolk School, St. Margaret’s and Parkland Secondary, before a close 1-0 loss to St. Michael’s University.
To gain more experience, the AA team also competed at the annual University of Victoria Senior Girls soccer tournament, where they defeated Mount Boucherie Secondary, but lost two games against schools from the Okanagan.
“They are coming from strong backgrounds. They all play at a high level with their club teams, but we started the year with a team building session and that really brought us together,” Hobson said.
“The girls figured out that they were all on the same page and they had the same idea of what they wanted to accomplish. I think they realized the sooner they came together, the more successful they would be.”
What makes the season more impressive is roughly half of the girls are Grade 9 and 10 students playing against Grade 11 and 12 athletes.
Grade 11 student Kate Yakamovich said it’s the fact that they’re close off the field that makes a big difference in their play on the field. “We all want to do this together,” she said.
Keeper and Grade 12 student Desere Sophonow agreed.
“I think we all get along. We all know each other and have played before with each other. We all have experience playing soccer,” she said.
Now, the team has their sights set on AA Islands at St. Michael’s University on May 14 and 15. They hope to finish in the top two or three and earn a provincial berth.
“The future looks bright. Going forward, there’s more optimism around this team and the fact that we have a pretty good window within which we can be really successful over the next couple of years,” Hobson said.