The Under-13 Boys Mid-Isle Soccer team fell just inches short of a being a Cinderella story at this past weekend’s House League wrap-up tournament at Forrest Field in Ladysmith.
Ranked seventh in the league coming into the competition, the Mid-Isle Diamondbacks battled their way to Sunday’s gold medal game, only to lose on a penalty kick shootout at the very end.
But the way the team got to the final was just as dramatic as the game itself.
The Diamondbacks won their tournament opener 2-1 against a top-ranked opponent, then followed that up Saturday afternoon with an exciting shootout victory in which Mid-Isle goalkeeper Corey Cross not only made the winning save, but also scored the winning goal.
Sunday’s final, a closely fought match against Nanaimo’s England team, saw the Mid-Isle boys take the lead on a first-half goal by Coleton Horsley.
The Nanaimo squad tied it up early in the second half and pressed the attack desperately, but the speed and composure of the Mid-Isle defensive corps, as well as a couple of great saves by Cross, kept the score even until the final whistle.
It took six shooters for a winner to be decided in this extremely close game.
“It was a great way to end the season,” said Mid-Isle coach Andrew Peterson. “It just all seemed to come together for these guys, and they played their best soccer of the season this weekend. I’m very proud of them.”