The story book finish to the final chapter of Rossland Secondary School sports did not follow the script as the senior girls soccer team placed fourth at the provincial single A finals on the weekend.
With all of the makings for a last hurrah worthy of a silver screen tale—the RSS Royals hosting the provincial soccer finals in its last year and final days as a high school—the senior girls team fell short of its goal of gold and placed fourth out of the 16 best small school teams in B.C.
The club dropped a 5-3 decision on Saturday afternoon in the consolation final against Victoria’s GlenLyon Norfolk, finishing just out of the medals in fourth for the second year in a row.
And considering the RSS athletic program is now dissolved when the high school program is closed this week, the young Royals—who would have returned three quarters of its players for next year—will not have any chance for redemption.
The club went undefeated in its round robin three-game stint leading up to the provincial playoff on Friday, and had acquitted itself admirably in outscoring its opposition 9-4, said Royals coach Rick McKinnon.
Their play continued through to the playoff round and the final match, but couldn’t match the offensive output of their opponents, nor shut them down, in two straight games, coming up short 5-3 in both games.
“We just dominated the play against Southridge and GlenLyon but just couldn’t finish it off at the end,” McKinnon said. “They did their best and I still think we should have come away with a medal.”
GlenLyon raced out to quick 2-0 lead in the early stages of the consolation final, with the Royals pulling close with a goal before the half. In the second half the Vancouver Island crew extended their lead to 4-1 before the Royals offence surged the club back into contention with two goals.
However, a late GlenLyon goal put the game out of reach for the host team.
Despite giving up 10 goals in two games, the Royals defence was strong, said McKinnon, with their opponents not getting close enough to shoot or penetrate the Royals defence. Instead, the teams lofted in shots from further out to get their goals.
It was a slim margin of defeat on the final season, said McKinnon. The Royals proved they were capable of playing with the stronger clubs in the single A grouping, McKinnon said, even though the RSS season is only two months long, while Okanagan and Lower Mainland clubs play 10 months of the year.
Now that the dust has settled, McKinnon was saddened by the loss of the Royals athletic program, an entity he has put over 20 years into, and 30 years into coaching overall. He was not sure if the senior girl’s soccer program would continue with his young core when they moved to J.L Crowe Secondary School in Trail for next year (the team folded in mid season).
McKinnon will be moving to Crowe to teach for the next year, but was undecided if he would continue coaching.
“Hopefully these girls will stick with it next year, because they are a good group and they listen well,” he said.
Southridge fell to Kelowna’s Immaculata 2-1 in overtime in the final game to give the top ranked team the provincial title. Immaculata beat GlenLyon 3-1 in the playoff round to advance to the final.
Kimberley 1 vs West Point Grey beat Kimberley 2-1 to finish fifth, while Kelowna Christian defeated Pemberton 1-0 to capture seventh place.
Nakusp beat St. Ann’s 3-2 in a shootout to capture ninth place, while a shootout was also necessary between North Island (Port McNeill) and Kaslo, with NISS coming out on top 4-3.
A third shootout was needed between Osoyoos and the Bulkley Valley (Smithers) with the Okanagan club winning 2-1 for 13th place.
In a battle of the lakes for 15th place, Burns Lake beat Fraser Lake 3-1.
In the commissioner’s 16 awards handed out to each team for dedication, sportsmanship and leadership throughout the years, the Royals’ Jaala Derochie and Kaela Zimmer took home the designation.
The Golden Boot for most tournament goals went to Southridge’s Jillian Brockman who scored 12 goals in five games, including three versus the Royals in the playoff matchup. The Royals tandem of Kaela Zimmer (seven goals) and Kaycee McKinnon (six goals) accounted for the bulk of the Royals scoring.
Southridge 5 – Rossland 3
- Scorers: Kaela Zimmer (2), Kaycee McKinnon
- Player of the game: Annie Cameron
Rossland 4 – Pemberton 3 (in a shootout)
- Scorers: Kaycee McKinnon, Kaela Zimmer (2)
- Player of the game: Jaala Derochie
Rossland 3 – Fraser Lake 0
- Scorers: Kaela Zimmer, Jill Armour, Kaycee McKinnon
- Player of the game: Kaycee McKinnon
Rossland 2 – St. Ann’s 1
- Scorers: Kaycee McKinnon, Jeanine McKay
- Player of the game: Kaela Zimmer