Story and Photos by Devin Milner – (www.devinmilner.com)
On Tuesday afternoon at the University of Victoria two of the most exciting semi-final games in recent memory of the Times Colonist Cup took place. Lambrick Park, fresh off an unbeaten season took on the always dominating Oak Bay High School.The first half of the game was incredibly fast paced which seemed to favor Oak Bay; however, Lambrick managed to keep the offensive surge of Oak Bay to the sidelines and minimized the risk. At half time the score remained 0-0. Early in the second half Oak Bay continued to show more accurate passing and a quicker transition game which resulted in their taking the lead 1 – 0. Lambrick Park, wasn’t going away and pushed back, about ten minutes later off a broken crossing play, the right winger banked a shot off the post and in to tie the game at 1 apiece. The game became choppy and both teams seemed to tighten up as it progressed towards the end of regulation and neither team scored again. The two ten minute halves of Overtime solved nothing and the game went to a shoot-out. Lambrick Park took the early lead in the shootout when Oak Bay missed their second and third shot, but Lambrick gave it back by missing their fourth and fifth shots. Thus the shootout continued until the ninth shooter, when Lambrick capitalized off the Oak Bay miss and buried their shot in the corner to compete the win. They were to play the winner of the Claremont – GNS Semi Final which was taking place on the adjacent field.
While Lambrick Park and Oak Bay where playing their Semi Final game, Claremont and GNS where playing their equally entertaining semi-final, one which saw Claremont carry the greater portion of play for the first half. But where stymied but the solid defensive play of GNS, who seemed content on picking their moments at making very quick and precise counter attacks whenever they forced a turnover, however, these counterattacks where continually stopped by a very acrobatic Clarmont goaltender. At half time neither team had a goal and it looked very likely this game would need extra time to settle the score.
However, about ten minutes into the second half, off a Claremont turnover, a GNS midfielder made a break down the right wing and fed the ball neatly into the center where it was placed into the bottom corner behind the Claremont goaltender by a GNS forward. Following this goal Claremont maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the time remaining but where met by a very patient and disciplined defense of GNS who forced their opponent to the sidelines and forced them into taking long range shots from rather weak angles. With about five minutes to go GNS took possession of the ball from a very tired Claremont team who put up a valiant effort to even the score and ran out the clock to beat Claremont 1 – 0, for a meeting in the final with Lambrick Park.
The game time is still to be announced but will be held at the University of Victoria.