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TSS Finishes PCSL Season with Thrilling Win

ImageThe TSS Academy U18 team finished their inaugural season in the PCSL Women's Reserve league with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Langley FC. In one of the most spirited matches of the season, TSS had their hands full against a squad comprised of the U17 Provincial A Cup Champions.

It wasn't long into the first half before TSS found themselves one goal down after Langley's Paige Friesen redirected the ball off a free kick. TSS responded 10 minutes later with an impressive header from Shayla Chorney off an Elexis Schlossarek free kick. Langley, however, continued to press by directing balls in behind the TSS back line. Within minutes, Langley was awarded a corner and Shelby Beck regained Langley's lead by heading the ball passed TSS goalkeeper, Nimmie Banipal, and the half closed out at 2-1.

TSS regained momentum in the second half with excellent ball movement in the midfield led by centre halves Camille Verschooris and Katie Bishop. Verschooris joined TSS this summer from George Mason University, a division 1 school in Virginia, while Bishop came to TSS from Semiahmoo Soccer Club. Both players formed a strong partnership in the midfield with quick 1 and 2-touch passing. Patient possession from TSS eventually paid off in the latter part of the half with a terrific header from former provincial player, Jade Palm, and the game was level at 2-2.

Langley pushed hard to regain the lead but stalwart defending from Kym Van Duynhoven and Shannon Madill denied Langley any real chances. Van Duynhoven, who just recently signed with the UBC Thunderbirds for the 2011 season, was moved from her usual centre midfield spot to centre back while Alanna Haines recovers from injury. Van Duynhoven was up to the task as she continually won balls in the air and provided excellent ball distribution into the midfield.

"Kym Van Duynhoven has been a key figure for this team since the beginning," said TSS head coach Brendan Quarry. "Kym has been at TSS for many years and seems to get stronger and stronger every year. It's little wonder UBC started taking an interest in her."

With the minutes ticking away, the game looked destined to end in a draw until Shayla Chorney was released behind the back line. In what proved to be the final play of the game, Chorney scored from an impossible angle, giving TSS their 11th win of the season. Chorney has been on form all season with TSS, now scoring 12 goals in 16 games which places her just 3 goals behind the league's top scorer, Jessica Hadden. Chorney finished last season with the North Shore Reign U17 Metro team in what proved to be her final season of youth soccer as she prepares to join the Whitecaps Prospects starting in the fall of 2010.

TSS Academy finishes the PCSL season with 11 wins, 2 loses, and 3 ties, making them level with Fraser Valley Action at the top of the table with 36 points. Fraser Valley, however, has the advantage with 2 games still in hand. TSS has now secured a place in the PCSL Challenge Cup for July 24-25 at Coquitlam Town Centre. The Challenge Cup essentially selects the top 4 teams to compete in a semi-final match followed by a final.

"I've really enjoyed working with this team," said Quarry. "Our focus throughout the program has been on moving the ball quickly and being patient in possession when necessary. It was a different style of play for many of them so there were definitely growing pains along the way. But in the end, the team had success and the players eventually took pride in their approach to the game."

As preparation for the Challenge Cup, the team will travel this weekend to Redmond, Washington to participate in the Nike Crossfire Challenge, arguably the most competitive girls tournament in the region. The team will be competing in the U19 bracket, which means many players will be playing-up by as much as 3 years.

"There are many young players on this team," continued Quarry. "One of the real surprises on this squad was just how well these young players performed. Players such as Devriendt, Wiebe, Graham, Schlossarek, Chorney, and Bishop are all 1994-born players and yet they managed to make a real mark on this team as they regularly featured in the starting 11."

With the PCSL season coming to a close at the end of July, some players will be moving on to college such as team captain Gellie Raguin-Licas. Gellie will be playing for Quest University, a new private university in Squamish, BC. Others will be returning to their youth clubs in the fall. The majority of the players, however, will continue to train together once a week at TSS throughout the youth season. Quarry is optimistic about the 2011 PCSL season. "With so many of these players registered in our fall academy, I'm confident the squad will be even stronger next season."

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