The St. Andrew’s Sabres sliced through two formidable opponents in one week to win a berth in the Colonist Cup soccer championship against the Lambrick Park Lions.
Lambrick defeated the Claremont Spartans in the other semifinal.
“We’re facing the champs,” said Mark Cristante, who coaches the team with John Mennie.
The Sabres defeated Glenlyon Norfolk Gryphons 2-1 on Wednesday in the Colonist Cup semifinal on the UVic turf fields. Fabian de la Fuente and Tarnvir Bahndal scored for the Sabres.
“It was torrential downpour the entire game but it didn’t stop our guys, they’ve just been improving all season,” Cristante said.
It was the third meeting between the Sabres and Gryphons in the past three weeks, of them all 2-1 games. The Sabres won in league play, but it was the Gryphons over the Sabres in the single-A Island championship final last week.
“We’re pretty evenly matched,” Cristante said. “They’re a strong team.”
The rubber match may have gone the Sabres way for now, but the two teams seem to be destined to meet again in the provincial single-A championships, hosted at UVic and Glenlyon this week, with the final on Saturday.
“We’re on each side of the draw so the only way we can meet this week is in Saturday’s final,” Cristante said.
“We’re playing for each other and it’s a real team game. It’s incredible, they all know their role and are supportive on and off the field.”
And the Sabres are doing it despite graduating eight seniors from the Sabres squad last year, including stars Girodano DePoalis and Leo Falzon, who led the Sabres to the provincial A championship.
“We’ve got players from Grades 8 to 12 this year just to have the numbers, but it’s they’ve really come together. Our captains Bahndal and David Boyd, both Grade 12, are doing what captains should, and leading by example.”
The Tier II Sabres challenged their way through Belmont and Stelly’s last week to get into the Colonist semifinal. Beating the undefeated TIer I Stelly’s Stingers was a huge upset.
The provincial A semifinals are 1:45 p.m. today (Nov. 2) at the UVic and GNS. Bronze and gold games are Saturday, 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. at GNS.
Boys A provincials at UVic and GNS this, Nov. 1 to 3Pool 1: Glenlyon Norfolk Gryphons; Kelowna Christian School Knights; Meadowridge Gryphons; Westside Academy Warriors.Pool 2: St. Andrew’s Sabres; St. John Brebeuf Bears; Similkameen Sparks; Queen Charlotte Secondary.Pool 3: Southridge Storm; Mulgrave Titans; Rossland Royals; Osoyoos Rattlers. Pool 4: Immaculata Mustangs; West Point Grey Academy Wolves; Nakusp Cougars; Lakes Dist. Lakers.