Skip to content

Can this Coquitlam school defend its B.C. senior girls soccer championship under a new head coach?

Kevin Comeau takes the lead on the touch line following the retirement last spring of longtime coach Larry Moro

Kevin Comeau knows he has big shoes to fill.

After sharing the touch line for several years with Larry Moro, the longtime head coach of the Centennial Centaurs senior girls high school soccer team, Comeau is now taking the lead position following Moro’s retirement last spring.

Moro made sure he went out with a bang, as the Centaurs won its third AAA championships in five years.

But, more importantly, he left a legacy of team cohesion and work ethic that propelled his teams into provincials in all but three of the 22 seasons he coached them, Comeau said.

“The wins would always come if the team was close-knit and outworked the other team,” he said. “Larry has always set out to make the season more fun that what the girls experience outside of school soccer.”

@tricitynews 24-0. ⚽️🏆 #tricitynews #coquitlam #soccer #bc3agirls #provincials #centennial ♬ UEFA Champions League Anthem (Full Version) - UEFA & Tony Britten

Now, with assistant coach Hayley Melvin alongside, Comeau said they hope to keep that team culture going.

“We won’t be able to run things the exact same way as Larry,” he said. “But we hope we can create the type of experience for our girls that teams of the past have had with us.”

It’s a weighty responsibility, Comeau said, that will be challenged by the youth of this year’s squad.

Only a handful of players from last year’s championship side remain and almost 10 are freshman or sophomores.

“We have a really fun group of girls this year that are so coachable and hardworking,” Comeau said, adding a fifth-place finish out of 16 teams at the Riverside Rapids’ pre-season tournament is encouraging.

“We will definitely be solid at the back, with steady goaltending and defensive play.”

Key players will be senior captains Kaitlan Cerney, a centre-midfielder, and Rachael Cardarelli, a centre back.

“Through the midfield, our girls will be tenacious and hard-working,” Comeau said.

Up front, grade 10 striker Camryn Strain, has “a ton of potential,” Comeau said, and freshman Kallee Lennstrom “has a knack for finishing chances.”

Winger Isabella Luz also has the pace and skill to create offence, he added.

Comeau said the competitive nature of the Fraser North zone makes it difficult to assess how his charges measure up, but another berth in provincials would be a testimony to his predecessor’s legacy of excellence.

“I have taken a lot from him,” he said.

Here’s how some of the other teams measure up for the coming season:

Riverside Rapids

With a senior-laden lineup, Rapids coach Kenny Jamieson said this could be the year his charges make the leap into provincial after just missing out the past two seasons.

“We are a well-rounded squad this year,” Jamieson said.

Returning senior centre back Amra Becirovic and Hila Tata will bring strength and composure up the middle while senior centre midfielder Rita Sirsiris has “an aggressive, attacking mindset” that completes her skill at controlling the ball.

Danika Learmonth, another senior, “is basically our Swiss Army knife,” Jamieson said. “She can step into pretty much any role and do very well.”

Heritage Woods Kodiaks

Winning Riverside’s pre-season tournament has Kodiaks’ coach Julie French feeling good about what her team could accomplish.

“Our team this season can battle in all areas of the field and make quality plays from defending and ball movement to finishing,” she said.

With a lineup that covers all the grades, leadership will come from senior Ava Taylor who, French said, brings “a calming presence as well as skill and physicality.”

Offence will come from a quartet of juniors, Ava Moore, Abby Mallow, Arlis King and Olivia Zeitler, while Sophia Kouris minds the net.

Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils

The Blue Devils last qualified for provincials two years ago.

Coach Fahim Karmali said the team has the stuff to get back there again this season.

He said his charges are “full of potential with a good blend of youth and experience.”

Key to Best’s success will be senior goalkeeper Kendal Leah-Skelton and midfielder Sasha Faris.

“Both have been incredible players and leaders in the community,” Karmali said.

The Terry Fox Ravens and Port Moody Blues did not respond in time for our deadline. Archbishop Carney is also participating in league play this season.