BURNABY — A lot of tired teams took early harbour in their tournament hotel rooms here at the B.C. senior boys Triple A soccer championships.
Two games today helped set the plotline for Saturday’s championship finale at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex, yet one more group stage match remains for all 16 teams over the 9 and 11 a.m. schedule Friday, and for more than half of the field, the possibility of earning one of the four semifinal berths later in the day still remains.
That, and a way to be as fit and ready for the morning session is all you can ask for at this time of the season.
“We were able to use all of our players in the morning game, we had six subs, which was really nice,” said a grateful South Delta Sun Devils’ co-coach Stephen Burns, whose team opened with a 1-0 win over the Rutland VooDoos, then followed in the afternoon with an impressive 5-1 win over Chilliwack’s Sardis Falcons.
Giacomo Petrocco’s blast held as the winner against Rutland, while Petrocco scored once, and Constantin Von Borries twice as part of its win over Sardis.
“The afternoon game was even better, because after we got up 3-1 we were able to rest guys,” added Burns, one of the province’s veteran coaches, and one so well-versed in what an extra 10-to-15 minutes of rest can mean in a critical morning match.
And Tsawwassen’s Sun Devils will get just that.
Its North Vancouver pool mates, the Handsworth Royals, also went 2-0-0 on the day, beating Sardis 1-0 and Rutland 2-1 to keep both of those teams winless.
That means the winner of a 9 a.m. game Friday between the Sun Devils and the Royals will determine who advances to the semifinal round at 12:45 as the C pool winner.
Surrey’s L.A. Matheson Mustangs have been knocking on the door and are once again in position to claim a group stage title.
The ‘Stangs went 2-0-0 to lead their D pool with a 4-0 win over Victoria’s Oak Bay Bays, and a 2-1 win over Burnaby’s Moscrop Panthers.
If the Mustangs beat winless North Peace (0-2-0) in its Friday (9 a.m.) match, they would oppose the C pool winner in the semifinals.
On the other side of the draw a potential battle royale is shaping up in the semifinals between the province’s No. 1-ranked team, Surrey’s Panorama Ridge Thunder, and the defending B.C. champion Vancouver College Fighting Irish.
Panorama Ridge beat both Abbotsford (4-1) and Argyle (3-0) and thus sit atop the A pool.
That’s because the day’s lone draw was a part of the group.
Coquitlam’s Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils drew 2-2 with Argyle, and that coupled with a 2-1 win over Abbotsford later in the day has them at 1-0-1 ahead of an 11 a.m. winner-take-all clash with Panorama Ridge.
The A pool winner will face the winner of the B pool in a 2:45 p.m. semifinal.
Vancouver College and Victoria’s Reynolds Roadrunners are both 2-0-0 and face each other in an 11 a.m. clash for the Final Four.
The College won 3-2 over Terry Fox and 2-1 over Guildford Park, while Reynolds beat Guildford Park 3-1 and Terry Fox 3-2.
Saturday’s championship final is slated for 11:15 a.m.
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