SURREY — The B.C. senior girls AAA high school soccer championships, hosted by Fleetwood Park Secondary, kicks off a three-day run Wednesday at Cloverdale Athletic Park.
Here’s our look at one match expected to be pivotal in each of the four group-stage pools. A tournament schedule for pool play, as well as championship round semifinals and placing games is included.
Centennial Centaurs, North Peace Grizzlies, Oak Bay Breakers, Sardis Falcons
9 a.m. — Centennial vs. North Peace, Oak Bay vs. Sardis
12:30 p.m.—Sardis vs. Centennial, North Peace vs. Oak Bay
10:45 a.m. — Centennial vs. Oak Bay, Sardis vs. North Peace
MATCH TO WATCH: Oak Bay vs. Centennial, Thursday, 10:45 a.m. — Few will argue that an undefeated, defending champion Centaurs team is the side to beat here this week. Yet you’ll lose count if you try to keep track of how many times a group has come down to the third-and-final round on Friday morning.
Oak Bay could have avoided Centennial with a win in its Vancouver Island final against Nanaimo District. Instead it seems logical that any aspirations they have of making a Final Four would include having to go through the Centaurs.
R.A. McMath Wildcats, Claremont Spartans, Handsworth Royals, South Delta Sun Devils
9 a.m. — McMath vs. Claremont, Handsworth vs. South Delta
12:30 p.m. — South Delta vs. McMath, Claremont vs. Handsworth
10:45 a.m. — McMath vs. Handsworth, South Delta vs. Claremont
MATCH TO WATCH: South Delta vs. R.A. McMath, Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. — Two old foes, geographic rivals, and annual provincial title contenders.
If that isn’t enough, there was even one season when current longtime South Delta head coach Stephen Burns coached both teams at the same time. For that alone, the soccer gods are sure to have some interesting karma in store for all.
Nanaimo District Islanders, Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils, Panorama Ridge Thunder, Kitsilano Blue Demons
10:45 a.m. —Nanaimo Dist. vs. Dr. Charles Best, Panorama Ridge vs. Kitsilano
2:15 p.m. — Kitsilano vs. Nanaimo District, Dr. Charles Best vs. Panorama Ridge
9 a.m. — Nanaimo Dist. vs. Panorama Ridge, Kitsilano vs. Dr. Charles Best
MATCH TO WATCH: Nanaimo District vs. Panorama Ridge, Thursday, 9 a.m. — Just as a talented Centennial team had to get over the hump of winning big games when it mattered most to claim a title last season, so too does an NDSS team which is looking to build tourney tradition coming off a Vancouver Island title win.
To do it, however, they will have to deny another of the Fraser Valley’s flagship programs in Surrey’s Thunder, themselves coming off a stinging loss to the Centaurs in the Fraser Valley title game.
Argyle Pipers, Riverside Rapids, Fleetwood Park Dragons, Kelowna Owls
10:45 a.m. — Argyle vs. Riverside, Fleetwood Park vs. Kelowna
2:15 p.m. — Kelowna vs. Argyle, Riverside vs. Fleetwood Park
9 a.m. — Argyle vs. Fleetwood Park, Kelowna vs. Riverside
MATCH TO WATCH: Argyle vs. Fleetwood Park, Thursday, 9 a.m. — If for no other reason than these are a pair of gold-standard programs, North Vancouver’s Pipers against Surrey’s host Dragons is one not to be missed.
Argyle completely dominated South Delta last season in its group stage finale at UBC, needing a win for a final four berth. Instead, it came away a loser on penalty kicks to the Sun Devils.
Fleetwood Park made it all the way to the B.C. final again, but lost in overtime to the Centennial Centaurs.
12:30 p.m. — First in Pool C vs. First in Pool D
2:15 p.m. — First in Pool A vs. First in Pool B
9 a.m. — 15th-16th, 13th-14th, 11th-12th, 9th-10th
10:45 a.m. — 7th-8th, 5th-6th, 3rd-4th
11:15 a.m. — Championship final
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