Team recovers from first-day setbacks with three straight wins
The Whistler Secondary Storm boys soccer team proved they can play at a high level when the school hosted the high school Senior Boys A Soccer Tournament. The A division is for smaller schools with 500 students or less.
They played five games over three days, finishing with a record of three wins, one loss, and one draw.
Unfortunately, both the draw and the loss took place on the first day of competition, which relegated Whistler into the last playoff division.
They battled hard in their first game against A.L. Fortune of Enderby, and finished regulation play with a score of nil to nil. As per the rules, the draw in the round robin was to be decided by a shoot-out, with five players taking shots.
The teams tied once again with four goals each. A.L. Fortune edged Whistler in the next round of sudden death penalty shots.
A.L. Fortune was given three points for a win, and Whistler earned one point for the initial tie. A.L Fortune went on to finish third overall in the province.
The Whistler team had to start their next game against Nakusp immediately afterwards, and lost 4-1. Nakusp went on to finish fifth in the tournament.
"That was a hard day," said head coach Bernard Messeguer. "The team we lost that first game to went on to finish third in B.C., so they were a pretty good, pretty skilled team. The next game, I think we were a little tired out there. The players are fit, but not really tournament fit like some other teams. Were lucky if we can get a game a week, much less two games in a row like that. Not to make excuses for us we practised hard and there were four other teams that had to play back to back games, but it was a factor.
"You can always be proud of them (Whistler) and the way they played. These guys dont get the tournament exposure or the amount of competition some of the other teams get.
"They have to battle a couple of pretty big detriments out there. The first is that its a short season here thats broken up by a long winter. The second is that theres not a lot of real games out here to play in," said Messeguer.
Although Whistler was relegated to the last pool for day two of the competition, which meant that they couldnt finish any higher than ninth place, the Storm came out strong.
In their first game against St. John Brebeuf, Whistlers Michael Messeguer and Steve Romanin knocked in two unanswered goals to put Whistler up 2-0. St. John missed a couple of penalty kicks in front of the goal, but at last got on the board near the end of the first half. Whistler keeper Cole Stewart made the first save, but a St. .John player put the rebound in off the crossbar.