Cal girls kick season off on top

Soccer season is in full swing at Caledonia, with two near perfect play days for the Girls AA team already under the team’s belt.

Soccer season is in full swing at Caledonia, with two near perfect play days for the Girls AA team already under the team’s belt and another two play days to go before zones on May 10 and 11.

The first, hosted in Prince Rupert April 13 saw the team win both of their games, 4-0 against Charles Hays and 7-0 against Queen Charlotte Secondary.

And the second, hosted here in Terrace April 20 saw the Kermodes win against Kitimat 6-0 and draw Smithers 1-1.

“They played pretty well,” said coach Duncan Stewart. His team is made up of 19 girls, a balance of veterans and new recruits, and he says they’re spread out evenly between Grades 10, 11, and 12.

The northwest AA league is comprised of Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Smithers, but the team sometimes plays the Hazelton A team and, as they did April 13, the Queen Charlottes’ team.

This is his 13th season coaching the Cal girls squad, a program he’s seen develop handily over the years, with Cal heading to provincials for the last seven years in a row.

“The quality of the girls just from the rep team programs through the youth soccer definitely feeds the system,” he said.

“It’s been a good cohort year after year. We always lose key players, but then seem to get new ones in again.”

If the team wants to make it eight in a row for provincials, they’ll have to figure out a way to beat Smithers, traditionally the team’s main rival, as they’ve done in the past.

“Definitely Smithers seems like the team to beat,” he said.

And with only a few more weeks to go in the compressed season—there are typically five play days and the teams try to squeeze in a couple of games during the week to end up with 10 or 12 games—as always, they’ll have to figure this year’s team out soon.

“By the end of it you’re sort of gelling [as a team],” he said of the short season. “You play all of the same teams week in and week out, so you sort of figure each other out and what you need to do.”

And while he hopes to see his team to another provincials, he’s not making any promises just yet.

“It’ll be a nailbiter between us and Smithers, it always is,” he said. “You need a bit of luck to get through as well, and we’ve had that for the last few years…It’ll be a good game.”

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