BURNABY — They harboured a history of heartbreak at the B.C. senior boys Single-A soccer championships, and for a good, long spell in last Friday’s title tilt, you couldn’t help but wonder if the West Point Grey Academy Wolves penchant for leaving a litany of unfilled chances on the Burnaby Lake turf was going to come back and bite them again.
Kosta Foitou, however, managed a brilliant play on the ball after a cross from teammate Declan Renton to score the only goal of the match late in the second half as the Wolves edged Victoria’s Glenlyon Norfolk Gryphons 1-0 to win the school’s first-ever provincial senior varsity soccer title.
“We’ve been in the finals now four times, and this is the first time for the boys to win it,” explained Steve McCauley, who has coached the program the past decade. “The finals in ’14, ’16 and ’17, and the way we lost those last two was heartbreaking.”
In 2016, in the last minute of extra time, and then in 2017 in the final minute of regulation.
Yet in 2019, no team dominated the proceedings quite like West Point Grey Academy, who over the course of three days, played five games, scoring 20 times while conceding no goals.
“We hit three crossbars and when you play all of these games here at provincials… by midway through the second half, fatigue was starting to set in,” admitted McCauley. “But we held firm and were able to get a goal.”
And it was their mindset which carried them to the title.
“Over the last 10 years we have really tried to build a team that plays attacking football,” said McCauley, whose Grade 11 midfielder Matthew Lee-Mockett was named MVP, while senior centre back Charlie Anthony was the team’s representative on the Commissioner’s XI.
“It’s really about trying to build a sense of community within the team and since we are a small school, you’re trying to build it to where the kids care about the program,” continued McCauley of the culture which has gained traction through the success of now four championship-finals appearances over the last six seasons. “You want the younger kids to gain a sense of what that is because high school sports is about finding excellence within the school. I’ve always felt it enhances the fabric of a school community because you play with the people you are seeing every day.”
West Point Grey Academy had previously won four B.C. senior girls cross-country team championships, as well as two golf banners and the 2014 B.C. senior boys Single A basketball title.
“We had a process of how we wanted to be playing and the boys delivered on what we set out to do in September,” added McCauley.
The B.C. boys Double-A tournament begins a three-day run Monday at Burnaby Lake, with the Triple-A tournament taking over the facility for its own three-day run beginning Thursday.
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