An understaffed Kelowna Owls’ squad settled for fourth place at the B.C. high school girls field hockey championship in West Vancouver.
Ranked fourth in the province heading into the week, the Owls were hindered by a lack of depth as only 13 players took to the pitch during the playoffs at the 16-team tourney.
Jesse Itterman was lost to an injury after opening day, while Grace Fecht went down with a concussion on the second day of play.
After winning their first four games of the week, the Owls dropped a 1-0 decision to the Handsworth Royals in the semifinals.
“My guys fought really hard,” said Owls’ coach Arnar Bernhardsson. “To have only 13 players in a tournament of this size makes it really tough. Fatigue and fitness were definitely both factors against us.”
Then on the third/fourth place game, KSS squad against put up a fight but came up short against South Delta losing 2-1.
Karen De Lange scored the lone goal for the Owls in the bronze medal match.
“The girls were physically spent from the Handsworth game,” Bernhardsson added, “and just had nothing left in the tank.
“I’m pleased that the girls left everything they had on the field and you can’t ask any more of that from them. I’m proud of the day they played.”
Three of the Owls’ victories came in pool play—4-0 over Magee, 1-0 over Gleneagle and 4-0 over Frances Kelly.
KSS then defeated West Vancouver 5-0 in the quarterfinals.
The result was the Owls’ best finish at provincials since 2010 when KSS won bronze.
Shawnigan Lake defeated Handsworth in the championship game.