Photo by Don Fennell
Dakota Chan made the most of her final high school field hockey game.
The Grade 12 student scored what proved to be the winning goal on penalty strokes as the R.A. McMath Wildcats edged West Vancouver Highlanders for fifth place at the B.C. high school girls’ AAA championships Friday at Minoru Park. Chan skillfully drew the opposing goaltender out of position and then put the ball into an empty goal. The final scoreline read: McMath 0 West Vancouver 0 (McMath wins 3-2 on penalty strokes).
Ever modest, Chan laughed that scoring the winning goal was satisfying, and to be hosts “pretty cool.”
Further reflecting on her high school career, Chan had considerable praise for her teammates.
“Seeing where we started, it’s amazing,” she said of the result. “I’m so glad this is how we finished off the our season.”
Longtime coach TJ Sander also lauded his players.
“It was a pleasure coaching you, and you really came to together as a team,” he told the girls following their emotional victory.
Winners of the Richmond league title (8-0) and the Vancouver and District championship as well, McMath won its opening pool game 1-0 over North Vancouver’s Argyle Pipers on Wednesday (Chan scored the lone goal) before dropping a 4-1 decision to Kelowna Owls. The Wildcats then rebounded for a 7-0 win over Coquitlam’s Centennial Centaurs to place second in their pool and qualify for the quarter-finals featuring the top eight teams from the original 16-team draw. The remaining eight teams then played off in consolation action.
McMath dropped its first quarter-final game 4-1 Thursday to eventual provincial champion Handsworth Royals of North Vancouver. McMath then defeated South Delta 3-1 Friday morning to continue on to the fifth-place showdown with West Vancouver that afternoon.