CANNING – It was the best of seasons, ending just shy of victory – Northeast Kings’ girls soccer team came second at provincials Nov. 5 after losing 1-0 to Breton Education Centre.
The game’s first half was a deadlock, with both teams giving the game everything as they ran the ball across the field. BEC scored around halfway through the second half, and NKEC had several opportunities where they came close to scoring, but couldn’t get the ball in the net.
After the teams congratulated each other on the hard-fought game, NKEC head coach Dale Sanford handed out medals. He took a moment and spoke of how proud he was of the girls’ progress over the season.
“I want to thank these girls. Very young team, and I thought they competed very well against a very tough team today – all year, you guys have been nothing but an absolute blessing,” he said.
NKEC goaltender Rachel Sheffield is one of the team’s three senior players who will graduate this year. She and her teammates shed some tears as they hugged following the game, but smiled through it.
She said it was a season she will “never forget,” and a great end to it all.
“Hosting regionals at home and winning, hosting qualifiers at home and winning that, to move to provincial and host again – we could not have asked for better,” she said.
Following the game, Sanford gathered the girls for one last talk, wishing them luck in their future sport endeavours and congratulating them on a season well-played.
Sanford said the match came down to BEC just pushing that much harder in the second half, and that the match was made up of “truly the best two teams in the province.”
“They got one goal, and we didn’t get any, so they win – but it was a really good game,” he said.
Sanford said the season overall exceeded everyone’s expectations given the team’s young age, and expects the girls to come back even stronger next year.
“Honestly, these girls are just class – they represent the school well, play with class and do it the right way, so I’m proud,” he said.