Sooke’s under-14 girls soccer team has played 10 games this season.
In 70 per cent of those games, the opponent hasn’t celebrated a goal. No leaping fist pumps. No knee slides to the corner flag. No sprints to jump into the air and hug the nearest teammate.
Sooke’s team defensive play doesn’t allow much joy.
“The team just gets better and better at working together. They’re into their soccer,” said Sooke coach Paul Clarkston.
The under-14 squad has posted seven shutouts this season heading into weekend action.
Team defence is the foundation of a squad that takes a 9-0-1 record into the Lower Island Soccer Association play downs.
Sooke has allowed just (3) goals on the season while scoring (28).
Clarkston said while the team has bought into his defensive mantra, there is no one unit – goal, defence or offence – that stands out individually.
“The girls work really hard and have a commitment to practise and winning,” he said.
And win they do.
Last year, the club went undefeated and won the LISA Cup, and this year have already made it to the semifinals.
This year, the team has won many tight games, often by 1-0 margins, such as coming up against cross-region rivals Peninsula, which Sooke has beaten three times already this year.
This is the fifth year, Clarkston has coached this group of girls, and they continue with a desire to win.
“They’ve got a lot of heart,” he said.