Salt Spring United women’s team advances to finals

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The Salt Spring United women’s soccer team defeated Victoria Athletics 4-1 on Sunday at the GISS field and advanced to the final round of the Frank Leversedge Cup.

Salt Spring played an aggressive game against the bigger Victoria team, winning after a hat trick from Jody Pringle and a final goal from Melanie Penner.

“Our team rocked,” said Lorna Walde, co-manager of the team. “The movement was ridiculously great. Coach Dave McColl’s done an amazing job with the team. We’re moving the ball and it’s making it like we’re not even having to work. We’re just playing smart.”

Salt Spring played a good field game, keeping and holding possession of the ball for much of the time. They kept the Victoria team in defensive mode, with multiple shots on goal and attacks on the net. Early in the game, Pringle scored the first of her three goals, which she quickly doubled without answer.

Victoria Athletics scored one point against the home team in the first half, but Salt Spring remained in the lead going into half time.

After a quick break, the teams took the field again. The second half was a bit rougher than the first, with both teams playing harder as the clock ticked down. Pringle scored once more in the second half, advancing Salt Spring’s lead.

The rough game started to take its toll on the teams. One Victoria player was injured and sat out for the remainder of the game. Salt Spring solidified their lead over Victoria with a fourth goal, this time from Penner.

As the game wound down, the performance of the Salt Spring team went up. The defence laid down a solid block, running the attackers back and forth across the field. By the time of the final whistle the game was 4-1 for Salt Spring.

Salt Spring plays for the Leversedge Cup against Lakehill Gunners in an away game on Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m. Salt Spring has a win and a tie against Lakehill this season, and is expecting to play hard against the Saanich team.

“It’s going to be an aggressive game,” said Walde.

Salt Spring United finished the season in second spot in Div. 3 of the Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association. They will likely be promoted to Div. 2 for the 2018-19 year.

“The team itself is really solid, but our coaching has really made a big difference in how we play,” Walde said.

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