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Oak Bay, Reynolds reach Ryan Cup final

Sometimes a team just has your number.
Tuesday: Oak Bay's Sarah Paradiso and Stelly's Sophie Blandford battle for the ball during Ryan Cup semifinal action at the University of Victoria.

Sometimes a team just has your number.

Case in point, the Oak Bay Breakers, who managed to frazzle the Stelly’s Stingers for a third straight time this season, this time by a 1-0 count in the Ryan Cup semifinals on Tuesday afternoon at the University of Victoria.

The Breakers advance to Thursday’s 3:45 p.m. senior girls city soccer championship game against the Reynolds Roadrunners, who blanked Glenlyon Norfolk School 2-0.

Holly Goodacre scored her fifth goal in two games to spark the Breakers to the win, after the 16-year-old Grade 11 student — who is likely to take the NCAA route after next season — recorded four tallies in a 5-0 quarter-final victory over Lambrick Park last week.

“Every game is a new game, and with them, you know it’s going to be a battle every time. It’s just getting the right bounce or having the one player step up. Luckily for us, Holly was the one player,” Breakers head coach Brent Garraway said of the latest win over Stelly’s.

Goodacre struck in the 35th minute on a well-placed bullet that deflected off Stingers’ goalie Isabella Kennedy’s hands as she dove to her right.

It came after Neesha Nandrha couldn’t quite cash in twice in tight on Oak Bay goalkeeper Andrea Pellatt. Stingers’ striker Kiara Kilbey, who is joining the UVic Vikes next season, was also stopped from short range on the short side.

Kilbey also failed to get off a solid shot late in the first half and Kelsey Boudreau’s attempt from well out just sailed two feet over the bar.

“We’ve been snaked [snake-bitten] by them three times now. Every game we’ve played against them has been an absolute battle and we were in every single game, so we don’t feel like we’ve been outplayed,” said Stingers head coach Jackie Cunningham.

“There were two chances there where we should have finished. You put one away and we’re up 1-0 and that changes the game a little bit.”

It was the first real good opportunity the Breakers had in the opening half. However, Oak Bay owned the majority of play in the second, a complete reversal from the first 40 minutes.

“Holly earned the first one for us. We’ve talked about how we’re not always going to be the prettiest team out there, so it’s making sure we capitalize on our chances and being defensively sound,” said Garraway. “They had a couple of good chances today where we kind of got lucky on one, but we got their number in the end.”

Renee St. Goddard’s late shot deflected off an Oak Bay defender and hit the post. To add insult to injury, the officials failed to see the deflection and did not award a corner. But Kennedy also stoned Goodacre in the last minute.

Now the Breakers focus on the Roadrunners, a team Oak Bay defeated 1-0 in the regular season.

“So bad,” Goodacre responded when asked how much they want to record a city title. “It’s a goal that we have every season, so winning this game is another step to our goal.”

In Reynolds’ win, Lara Irwin and Natalie Koehn recorded the goals and Nicole Smythe and Puck Louwes shared the shutout in goal.

“Reynolds is tough. They are one of the best coached teams on the Island with J.J. [Atterbury] running the program. They’re always defensively sound so we have to capitalize on our one or two chances,” Garraway said of Thursday’s final.