Kate Roxburgh played with a torn labrum. Despite her hip injury, she scored the winning goal on a header off a corner kick from Sarah Toews with four minutes remaining in overtime. Art Bandenieks photo

True grit: Langley U18 wins bronze at soccer championships

‘I’ve never met a group this tough,’ coach said

Look up the definition of grit, and don’t be too surprised if a picture of the U18 Langley Falcons soccer team comes up in your search engine.

They managed to win a bronze medal at the B.C. Girls B Cup Provincial Championships in Burnaby (July 4-9) despite an ever-lengthening list of player injuries that included a concussion, a fracture, neck injury, torn hip muscle and a dislocated knee.

Thanks to players cutting their recovery time short to compete, Falcons won the bronze medal match against a determined Comox Valley Blaze team 2-1 in overtime.

Falcons head coach Cory Couture called it “unbelievable.”

“I’ve coached for 20 years, and I’ve never met a group this tough,” Couture observed

Among them, Kate Roxburgh, the player who scored the winning overtime goal on a header off a corner kick from Sarah Toews with four minutes to go, playing with a hip injury, a torn labrum.

And Sheleena Wiley, who took the field wearing a leg support for a hamstring injury.

Team captain Jenna Dolphin, who dislocated her knee at the Coastal Cup qualifier for the provincials, played wearing a knee brace.

Couture described how Mel Capstick, who hurt her C2 in her neck in a surfing accident in December, came back to play, despite being in considerable pain.

“She would come off with tears in her eyes but refused to not go back in,” Couture related.

“She has been on this team since she was U6 and her determination to play was unbelievable, just like the other injured players.”

READ ALSO: Falcons continue to soar

In the two weeks leading up to the tournament, two players were involved in car accidents, and only one, Emily MacLeod, was able to play by game time.

During the provincials, Falcons lost starter Maryke Claris-Young, who suffered a concussion in the second game of the championships.

Brooke Lindberg, who broke her arm and played in a cast for part of the season, had it removed two weeks before the provincials.

Falcons, who normally have a roster of 17 players, have been competing with 14 since Christmas because of injuries and had to call up two U16 players for the Burnaby games.

Couture described the victory as a “dream ending for these amazing, gritty players to end their youth soccer careers.

It was close.

Falcons were leading 1-0, courtesy of a first-half left-foot kick by Lucia Orozco, but with just three minutes to go, a Blaze goal tied the game.

Coming off the field before overtime began, the players were determined to win.

“I didn’t have to say a word,” Couture related.

It’s been a “pretty good” final season for the team and the coach, Couture stated.

Falcons have scored 100 goals this year, 47 of them by Wiley, recording 24 wins, one tie and two losses this year with only 31 goals scored against, in no small part due to the efforts of goalie Laura Couture, who has also had 10 shutouts.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

Sheleena Wiley was recovering from a hamstring injury. She has scored 47 of 100 goals by the Falcons this year. Art Bandenieks photo

Jordyn Briggs was one of two U16 call ups who played. Art Bandenieks photo

Just Posted

WEATHER: A chance of showers in Langley

Environment Canada expects the fog patches to dissipate

Security cameras installed by police at Aldergrove shooting scene

Police have been on scene continuously since the Nov. 21 attack

VIDEO: Tsumura Basketball Invitational begins at the Langley Events Centre

Top teams clash in event billed as preview of provincials

Rogers Hometown Hockey back in Abbotsford

Free hockey festival returns to Exhibition Park on Dec. 14 and 15

Brand-new European-style Christmas market comes to Fort Langley

Miracle on Church Street runs weekends, Dec. 6 to 8, 13 to 15 with vendors, music, and mulled wine

VIDEO: A brief history of bumps in the Trudeau-Trump relationship

Remember Peter Navarro saying ‘there’s a special place in hell’ for a foreign leader who aims to cheat?

Half of shoppers say they have no holiday spending budget

B.C. consumers surveyed estimate they will spend $921 this season

University of the Fraser Valley union demands free menstrual products for staff, students

Petition calls it a human rights issue, asks for products at Chilliwack/Abbotsford campus washrooms

Man killed in crash due to ‘absolutely treacherous’ conditions on Coquihalla

Winter means icy roads are dangerous and drivers should be careful, RCMP say

Bag of cocaine left in B.C. grocery store aisle

RCMP: ‘We sure would like to talk to’ person who left drugs behind

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

The Crown is seeking four to six years federal time; the defence wants 18 months in provincial jail

RCMP officer was justified using hose in rooftop standoff: B.C. watchdog

Police watchdog finds officers actions reasonable when man injured in 2018 incident

Cannabis ice cream? Province prepares for B.C. Bud edibles

Mike Farnworth’s special police unit takes down dispensaries

Union for parole officers at B.C. halfway house says public safety at risk

Increase in parole officers’ workload dealing with highest-risk offenders raises concern

Most Read