Three spots in this afternoon’s semifinals of the BC High School Boys AAA Coastal Provincial soccer championships are on the line for Tri-City teams participating at the 16-side tournament in Burnaby.
A fourth would have been possible, but the Centennial Centaurs and Heritage Woods Kodiaks will face each other this morning in their final match of group play with the loser headed to placement matches. The Kodiaks were a late addition to the tournament after schools from the North and Interior part of the province weren’t able to make it to Burnaby because of highway closures from last week’s catastrophic rainstorm.
Both Centennial and Heritage Woods finished the first day with 1-1 records. The Centaurs beat Sentinel 2-0 then lost to defending champions Panorama Ridge, while the Kodiaks defeated Panorama Ridge but lost to Sentinel. With all four teams in their group having a win and a loss, the semifinalist will likely be determined by a tie-breaker formula.
The Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils and Riverside Rapids are in the best position to advance to the semifinals. Each won both their group play matches on Thursday.
The Blue Devils defeated Vancouver Tech 2-1 and then came from behind to topple the Enver Creek Cougars 3-1. Riverside shut out Kitsilano 4-0 then followed with a 4-1 victory over Fleetwood Park. Both sides lead their groups heading into this morning’s final rounds of group play.
Blue Devils’ coach Dave Jones said he’s glad his side still controls its own destiny after a pair of tough matches in deplorable conditions of cold, rain and wind. Forward Leito Hutchinson has scored all five of his side’s goals to lead the entire tournament in scoring.
“Overall, it was a very good day,” Jones said.
The Blue Devils face Reynolds, which has a win and a draw, while Riverside plays against winless Burnaby Central.
The semifinals between the winners of the four groups will be played this afternoon at 12:45 and 2:30 p.m. The finals go tomorrow (Nov. 27) at 11:30 a.m.