Penalty kicks propel Lions into Cup final
The Lambrick Park Lions kept their high school senior boys’ soccer winning streak intact on Tuesday at the University of Victoria. But it wasn’t easy.
Playing in the Colonist Cup (city championship) semifinal, the Lions fell behind 1-0 to the Oak Bay Bays early in the second half before tying the contest. When the teams failed to score in 20 minutes of overtime, it came down to penalty kicks. The ninth shooter from Lambrick Park — David Rivera — finally ended it as the Lions prevailed 7-6. Lambrick Park has now won 10 consecutive games.
In the other semifinal, a rematch of last year’s Colonist Cup final, Glenlyon Norfolk blanked the Claremont Spartans 1-0. Claremont won the Cup last year with a 3-2 victory after penalty kicks. Oak Bay and Claremont are both triple-a schools while GNS and Lambrick Park are double-a.
“That was a fantastic soccer game,’’ said Lambrick Park coach Steve Legg. “Both teams had some great chances to score before the penalty kicks. This team has worked hard to be going back to the Cup final and it would be great to bring back the hardware to our school.’’
Ryan Postle opened the scoring for Oak Bay and just a few minutes later Morgan Varley countered for Lambrick Park.
“Our team has been successful this year because we are loose,’’ said Lambrick Park goalkeeper Jesse Hodges. “We have a lot of fun on the field and we don’t take anything too serious. After I let in the one goal, I knew that our team would pick me up and tie it. It was a great team effort.”
During the lengthy penalty-kick session, Hodges was asked to take a shot and he delivered a goal.
“I used to be a striker when I played in the Metro league, so I told the coach [Legg] that I would be willing to take a shot.’’
The next tests for the Lions and Glenlyon Norfolk will be the double-a Island championships on Monday and Tuesday at St. Michaels University School. The Cup final will be played on either Nov. 15th or the 17th.
“We didn’t have much chance to enjoy our lead as Lambrick Park came right back at us and scored,” said Oak Bay coach Richard Fast. “I have probably been involved in 100 penalty-kick games and have won 50 and lost 50. Today, Lambrick Park had one more player ready to shoot than we did.”
In the other semifinal, the teams were also scoreless at the half. Early in the second period, Claremont goaltender Eric Cochrane made a great diving save but the rebound went right to Jyotish Khanna, who made no mistake from close range. The victory propels Glenlyon Norfolk into the Cup final for the third consecutive year.
“We didn’t want to get into another shootout with Claremont,” said Glenlyon Norfolk coach Hugh Williams. “The key to this victory was the play of our defence. We played a very intelligent defensive game as we didn’t give them many scoring chances. Claremont has a very explosive team but we were able to close off the scoring areas today.”
The only regulation-time loss GNS has suffered this year come at home to Lambrick Park during league play.
“In the Cup final, I’m expecting another tough battle against GNS,’’ said Legg. “I’m sure it will be another back and forth fight.”