The Reynolds Roadrunners cut it close as they won the provincial boys AAA soccer championship in a shootout after a scoreless draw against the Argyle Pipers on Saturday.
It’s the school’s first provincial AAA boys soccer title on its 50th anniversary and was well deserved, said veteran coach J.J. Atterbury. (Reynolds and AA champ St. Mikes face each other in the Colonist Cup Nov. 29, 7 p.m. at UVic.)
“The whole team really dug deep, it was a gritty performance, they showed tremendous heart against a really good team,” Atterbury said. “In a game like that, a full team performance is needed and they all stepped up. It was the deepest team we’ve had since I’ve been coaching.”
Goalkeeper Cam Griffin was brilliant in the final and managed a crucial stop in the shootout, while Reynolds scored on all five attempts, including the clincher by Kiyoshi Croke to win the match.
“We did a good job, we defended in numbers, and our guys made a very determined performance,” Atterbury said. “We haven’t won a provincial championship in our 50 years and the team was really determined to make history, and make the school proud.”
Reynolds cruised through the first two matches of the group stage on Thursday, beating Mount Baker and Fleetwood Park 2-0 each. The third and final meeting in the group stage was Friday morning against St. George’s, who also held a 2-0 record, meaning the winner would move on to the semifinals. The tense affair ended 2-2 after regulation and went to shootouts. Reynolds’ goalkeeper Cam Griffin replaced injured goalkeeper Aaron Acker-Cavalcanti and stopped two shots to give his team the edge it needed.
Reynolds then defeated Sullivan Heights 2-0 in the Friday afternoon semifinal on goals by Will Adams and Sergio Duran.
The win over Argyle on Saturday will live on as it is the school’s first, and it comes on its 50th anniversary.
The defensive line was superb against Argyle, including Connor Calloway, tournament MVP Josh Lamothe, Sylvan Taghaoussi and Evan Wills.
“All were outstanding in the back, blocking shots, and it was a full effort shutting down Argyle,” Atterbury said. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t include co-coach Chris McDonald, a teacher at Reynolds, who came aboard this year.”