The Fraser Valley championship final was an important lesson for the Credo Christian Kodiaks senior boys’ soccer team.
All season long, the Kodiaks played to win, but in the Fraser Valley final — with a berth to the Single A provincial championships already wrapped up — the team for some reason deviated from what had made them successful.
“I felt that we played the game not to lose,” admitted coach Derek Hoogerdijk.
“We’ve never played that way this season. We have to play each game to win.”
In that final, the top-seed Kodiaks (4-0-1) faced the second-place Southridge Storm (4-1-0).
And after neither team was able to pot a goal during regulation or extra time, it went to the shootout.
The Storm prevailed in the eighth round.
Regardless of the disappointment of finishing second in the Fraser Valley, the team did achieve its goal from the start of the year, which was qualifying for the provincial championships.
The championships run this weekend (Nov. 3-5) in Kamloops.
“The Fraser Valley is a difficult league and, as a result, trying to get one of the berths to provincials is quite tough,” Hoogerdijk. “This year, I felt that we had a very strong team, one of the strongest we’ve ever had.”
While he knew the Kodiaks were a strong team, the coach was still a little surprised at just how well they did, averaging more than four goals per game while allowing just 0.5 per contest.
“I did not expect that kind of dominance,” Hoogerdijk said, referring to the fact the team has not trailed in any of its games.
To be successful at provincials — they feel they have a successful shot at reaching the semifinals — it is going to be doing more of what they have done all season.
“We approach every game as its own, don’t look ahead to the next game, just play the one we are in,” Hoogerdijk said.
It is also important the team continues to play a team-game rather than trying to do things individually.
“This group is an exciting group to coach and watch,” said Hoogerdijk, who has coached boys’ soccer at the school since 2001, save for last year.
The roster make-up consists of seven Grade 12s, one Grade 11 and eight Grade 10s.