The Nakusp Secondary boys soccer team travelled to Kamloops on November 3, 4 and 5 to compete in the B.C. High School Boys A Tier Soccer Provincials.
There are 55 schools from across the province that compete at this level and the top 16 teams participated in the Kamloops tournament. Nakusp qualified for this competition by winning the Kootenay championship.
In their first game NSS faced Mulgrave International School from North Vancouver. The Nakusp boys played a solid defensive game and held the talented lower mainland team until late in the second half. Mulgrave capitalized on a free kick with two minutes left in the game to scrape out a 1-0 win. Connor Reimer played a strong game in goal for NSS and was selected player of the game.
The second game for Nakusp was against Southpointe Academy from Delta. Nakusp gave up an early goal but settled in to dominate the play in the rest of the first half and tied it up on a goal by Nathan Hawe. In the second half Nakusp continued to apply pressure and scored three more goals for a 4-1 victory. Nathan Hawe finished the game with three goals and was awarded the player of the game. Tyler Hascarl added the fourth goal for Nakusp.
NSS faced the Okanagan zone champions from Kelowna Christian in their third game. Kelowna Christian came out strong and scored a goal in the second minute for an early lead. Nakusp settled into the game and had a couple of scoring chances late in the first half but could not get a goal against the strong Kelowna defence. Late in the second half Kelowna added an insurance goal on a defensive miscue and held on for a 2-0 victory. Luis Carrillo played a strong game for Nakusp in midfield and was awarded the player of the game ball.
The first three game results placed NSS third in their pool and put the Nakusp team in crossover games for the 9th to 12th positions in the tournament.
Nakusp played their long time rivals from Osoyoos Secondary in their first crossover game. Nakusp dominated the game from the start and hit both goal posts and the crossbar in the first 15 minutes but were unable to score. The second half was more of the same with Nakusp finally scoring on a Jade Streliev goal. The Nakusp defence limited Osoyoos to three shots on goal and preserved the 1-0 victory. Jade Streliev was named player of the game.
In their last game Nakusp faced Immaculata Catholic school from Kelowna. Immaculata were silver medallists in the tournament last year and knocked Nakusp out of contention in pool play last year. Immaculata came out strong and scored two goals in the first 4 minutes. Nakusp made a couple of defensive changes and settled into the game after a goal late in the first half by Adam Watson. In the second half, Nakusp came out strong and put heavy pressure on the Immaculata defense. Adam Watson, Brody Jordan and Nathan Hawe added goals in the second half for Nakusp in the 4-2 victory. Adam Watson and Sean Harper were both awarded player of the game balls.
Nakusp finished with a three win two loss record for ninth place in the tournament. Private schools once again dominated the competition with Pemberton being the only other public school finishing in the top ten in the province. In the tournament final Mulgrave lost to St. Andrews of Victoria by a 2-1 margin. Jade Streliev was named to the tournament all star team.
The Nakusp team faced a significant challenge in rebuilding their team this year after losing nine of their 11 starting players to graduation.
To qualify for the provincials was a significant accomplishment and winning three games in this tournament showed a solid team effort and the quality of the soccer program in Nakusp.
The NSS team would like to thank the NSS PAC, the Arrow Lakes Teachers Association, Peoples Pharmacy and Igloo Building Supplies for their donations towards the team travel costs.