Dr. Charles Best heading back to soccer provincials

The “rebuilding” Blue Devils from Dr. Charles Best secondary are heading to the senior boys soccer provincial championships, later this month in Burnaby.

The Devils, who won the banner in 2017, advanced to the provincial tournament with a dramatic comeback 4-2 victory over the Terry Fox Ravens in the Fraser North district semifinal, Thursday on the team’s home pitch at Dr. Charles Best. They’ll face Burnaby’s Moscrop for the district championship next Thursday, 3 p.m., at Coquitlam Town Centre Park.

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Devils’ coach, Dave Jones, came into the season playing his cards close to his chest. The loss to graduation, and to the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program, of skilled players like Elijah Dos Santos, put increased pressure on veterans like Dominic Tomasetti and young up-and-comers like Lieto Hutchinson. Both came through Thursday against the Ravens, which held a 2-0 advantage early in the second half.

Hutchinson sparked the comeback when he burst down the left side and fired home a goal from close range. After Hamish Ogden tied it, Tomasetti scored the winner just minutes later on a shot from the top of the penalty box. Erwin Perez added an insurance goal.

The loss was a tough pill to swallow for Ravens’ head coach, John Murphy, especially after his charges seemed to have the match under control.

“Our game plan worked for 60 minutes,” he said. “Best has the ability to turn it up when they have to and the momentum they generated was genuine and game-changing.”

The Ravens will play the Riverside Rapids on Monday, with the winner playing for third place in the district next Thursday.

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