“We won and we’re good,” said Michael Bennett, captain of Christ the King’s Grade 7 soccer team, the Wolverines, as he fingered the gold medal hanging around his neck.
“We scored on most of our opportunities. We also had good defence.”
After two days of play, Christ the King took the Whitehorse Elementary Schools Soccer Championships with a 5-2 win over the Jack Hulland Ravens in the finals.
Bennett, who scored a total of 16 goals in the tournament, finished strong, scoring a hat trick in the finals to help give his team the win.
“He’s one of the many kids we have that’s really talented,” said Betty Burns, coach of the Wolverines, speaking of her captain. “I can put him anywhere on the field … he can play all the different positions, so he’s a very valuable member.”
Christ the King ended the tournament, which was held Friday and Saturday at FH Collins and Vanier, with a 5-1 record.
The Wolverines’ only loss came at the hands of the Ravens the previous day with a 3-2 score.
“We weren’t really used to playing with each other the first game,” said Bennett, describing what gave his team an edge in its second meeting with the Ravens. “Now we’re used to playing with each other.”
“As a team, we just needed some games to just sort of click and get ourselves in our positions,” said Burns. “It just took them a game to get their legs underneath them and get to know each other as a team.”
Christ the King spent little time getting up on the scoreboard, with Jarrett Malchow scoring in the opening minutes. Malchow also scored his team’s final goal.
Jack Hulland finally found the back of the net in the second half, when Raven’s Tanner Borsa scored the first of two goals to make it 5-1.
“He’s got a great left foot and right foot,” said Ravens coach David Michayluk. “So he’s been instructed to shoot from wherever he can.”
Borsa scored his second goal on a penalty resulting from a tripping call, with seven minutes left to play. The late goal helped breathe new life into the trailing team.
“You could see how they started to get deflated when they started to get down,” said Michayluk. “The goals helped to rekindle their energy and get back into the game.”
According to Michayluk, rested legs may have been the deciding factor of the gold medal game.
“I think the difference was that we only had one sub for the whole tournament,” said Michayluk. “So our players got tired throughout the tournament.
“In fact, in this game, we only had a sub for the first half,” added Michayluk. “So for the second half we didn’t have a sub. So our players went most of the tournament playing the whole time, and I think that just wore them out.”
Hawks take bronze
After losing 2-1 to their schoolmates on the Ravens team in the semifinals, the Jack Hulland Hawks managed to attain a bronze finish with a 2-1 win over the Whitehorse Elementary Wolves Saturday at Vanier.
With just five minutes left to play, Hawks’ Savannah Goodman scored her first goal of the tournament to break a 1-1 tie. Goodman had been playing defence and midfield for most of the tournament, but was moved up to forward in the second half of the game.
“It was nice to see one of the girls get into the scoring,” said Hawks coach Jeff Frizzell.
Andrew Scoffin scored the Hawks’ first goal midway through the first half. The Wolves tied the game midway through the second.
“Being such a short season, it was really neat to see how much all the kids have improved,” said Frizzell. “You really notice it over the four week timeframe.”
In the consolation round, Takhini Elementary took first with a 7-1 win over Elijah Smith.