Chilliwack secondary school’s senior girls field hockey team is making their near-annual sojourn to provincials, heading to Kelowna for a tournament that starts Wednesday and concludes Friday.
The Storm qualified for this year’s tournament in dramatic fashion.
CSS qualified in a wildcard game played last Wednesday, in Tsawwassen, against Cowichan.
CSS claimed the game in a penalty shoot- out, with Natasha Deslaurier scoring the decisive tally and goalie Kylie Gauley coming up with a final save.
The Storm will enter provincials as the 16th seed, stuck in the same pool with number-one ranked Handsworth (North Vancouver).
The pool consists of Handsworth, Oak Bay (Victoria), Chilliwack and their arch-rivals from North Surrey.
Beating a Handsworth team loaded with top flight players is a tall task, but wins over North Surrey and Oak Bay would set CSS up for a finish in the 9-14 range, which would be acceptable.
“We’ve had our fair number of injuries this year that have hampered our starting lineup,” said coach Barb Kroeker. “Nicole Bartel, our centre midfielder, had ACL surgery last year and has been understandably tentative coming back this season.”
Forward Christina Vandenbrink was hit on the foot in a recent match is another Storm player trying to round back into form.
Midfielder Megan Wierks has been fighting hamstring and groin injuries since early September.
Kelsi McLean has been carrying the team on her back, and hopefully, she has enough in her gas tank to carry this team through another week.
Gauley, and defender Kyra Vanderveen, have been literally unstoppable lately.
Follow the tourney online at www.kss.sd23.bc.ca/sports/bcfh/