The Seycove Seyhawks senior girls field hockey team scored a history-making victory while breaking a decades-long string of dominance for private schools at the BC School Sports AA provincial championships held Nov. 6-8 in West Vancouver.
The Seyhawks knocked off Little Flower Academy 2-1 in the championships final played Wednesday at Ambleside Park’s Rutledge Field, earning the first provincial banner in team history while also becoming the first public school to win a AA title since the 2003-04 season.
“It’s kind of a surreal feeling,” said Raymond Yip, co-coach of the team with Melanie Reid. “Melanie and I were both a little lost for words after the final horn. It’s a great accomplishment for the team and the Deep Cove community.”
Winning the first title in school history feels “fantastic,” added Reid.
“It doesn’t really feel real,” she said. “The players are walking around today grinning from ear to ear.”
Seycove came into the event as the sixth-ranked team, but got hot in the tournament, scoring a record of five wins and one loss. The Seyhawks beat Tamanawis 3-1 and South Kamloops 2-0 before falling 1-0 to tournament host Collingwood School in pool play, earning a berth in the quarterfinals. Seycove then scored 2-0 victories over Brentwood College in the quarterfinals and Glenlyon Norfolk in the semifinals to earn their spot in the final, where the team played its best game of the season, according to Reid.
“I’m very proud of our team’s effort and their willingness to give it their all,” said Yip. “We saw many of our players perform better as the tournament went on, notably Maisie Fulton Stephenson, Lydia Harrington, and Eloise Gray. With that, we knew we had a chance. Plus our goalie, Lilja Bergen, made many big saves for us.”
The Seyhawks are also unique in that the team is not loaded with senior players. There were only two Grade 12 players on the team, and the roster included players all the way down the Grade 8.
Collingwood also went 5-1 in the tournament on their way to winning bronze. The Cavaliers went undefeated in pool play and topped Shawnigan Lake 3-0 in the quarterfinals before falling 4-3 to LFA in the semifinals. The Cavs bounced back to blast Glenlyon Norfolk 5-0 in the third-place game to claim bronze.