The Charles Hays Secondary School soccer team will compete in provincials this year after going 2-0 in zones over the weekend.
“I’m very proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish,” said head coach Ricky Deforge. “They deserve to move on to provincials, they’ve earned it.”
The Rainmakers made the trip to Kitimat Oct. 28 where they played games against Smithers and Kitimat in their bid to be crowned the best in the northwest. Prince Rupert won the first game against Smithers 2-0 behind two goals from Sean Sahai in what Deforge said was a strong defensive performance from his team.
The second game was against a scrappy Kitimat squad who the Rainmakers had already defeated in the season. CHSS took an early one-goal lead midway through the first half, but allowed Kitimat to score two goals in the second half, putting them on the back foot as the game was coming to an end. Deforge said his team may have underestimated their opposition due to their previous success against them.
“We’d already beaten them twice this year,” he said.
With four minutes left in the Rainmakers season, they were able to get a goal to tie the game, and with two minutes left Eric Tubb was able to score the game winner to punch CHSS’s ticket to provincials.
“Resilience prevailed and I think conditioning helped them,” Deforge said.
The Rainmakers will make the trip to Burnaby for provincials, which takes place Nov. 20-22. Deforge said the team needs to work on their conditioning, ball movement and organization on set plays if they want to compete in the tournament. He said he thinks CHSS stands a good chance of doing well, but the key to making a deep run will be having everyone peaking at the same time and not underestimating their opponents.
“I think they will definitely be in the top half,” he said. “In high school soccer, the difference could be a matter of only one or two players on each team, so anything can happen.”