Rebels finish fourth again at provincials
No matter how hard they tried, and try hard they did, the Burnaby South Rebels just couldn't get over the residuals of the heartbreak they'd suffered the day before.
Surrey's Tamanawis Wildcats defeated the Rebels 2-0 to claim third place at the B.C. AAA high school senior boys soccer championship at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex West on Saturday. It came on the heels of a 3-2 loss on penalty kicks to Port Coquitlam's Terry Fox Ravens in a semifinal clash Friday.
South had led the Ravens 2-1 on goals by Matthew Shannick and Nick Leonard. With the final whistle seconds away, Rebels goalkeeper Alex Marroquin miskicked a ball setting up an easy tying goal for the Ravens.
"It was a heartbreaker," said South head coach Robbie Puni of Friday's loss. "I don't like to put it on Alex because we had chances in overtime as well and in the shootout. We lost as a team in a very unfortunate way which I had never seen before. The way they responded today shows the character of our team. We have good leadership. They were emotional rocks."
One of those leaders was Matthew Shannick, who scored eight goals in the tournament.
"I was kind of shellshocked. It didn't seem real, it seemed like a bad dream," said Shannick of Friday's last minute goal. "It is disappointing, but I'm glad my team showed heart and left everything on the field [Saturday]."
In Saturday's first half, the Rebels had the better of the play but any inkling of a scoring chance they had fizzled quickly. The best came when South's Tyus Batiste appeared to be getting in the clear, but Tamanawis goalie Pratap Sandhu came out quickly to meet Batiste, well outside of the penalty box causing a collision and the ball to harmlessly float away. While the Rebels got a free kick out of it, it was no where near the quality of opportunity Sandhu had diffused with his aggressive play.
Sandhu also did a good job of patrolling the penalty box making it difficult for the Rebels to penetrate the Tamnawis defence.
Shannick felt if the Rebels would have managed to score a goal in the first half Saturday it would have provided a spark. Instead, they appeared to run out of gas as the previous day's disappointment and playing five games in three days drained the energy out of them.
"It's tough. It's easy to think emotionally. It's tough to get out of your head what happened yesterday," said Puni.
The Wildcats gradually took control in the second half. Shortly after Shannick had put a good chance to open the scoring wide, Tamanawis finally broke through when Happy Pahal of the Wildcats found himself all alone in the box and easily slotted a shot for the game's opening goal. Dilpreet Brar made it 2-0 heading in a cross from a free kick on the far left wing.
Despite the devastation, Puni said being fourth in the province for the second year in a row still rates as pretty good especially since pre-season rankings didn't have them being a factor.
• Burnaby South breezed through the robin robin winning all three of its games. They began by beating up on the Mt. Baker Wild of Cranbrook 6-0 and then downing the Sardis Falcons 3-1 Thursday. They followed that up Friday morning by downing the Kelowna Owls 2-1 to advance to that afternoon's semifinal.
Coquitlams Dr, Charles Best Blue Devils edged Terry Fox 1-0 in the final.
• Although he's had offers from NCAA Division I in New York of a field lacrosse scholarship, Shannick plans to take a year off to travel. He said he hopes to catch on with a local university soccer squad since that is the sport he prefers.