After outscoring their opposition 170-17, the Lake City Falcons senior girls seven-a-side rugby team became bronze medalists at this month’s BC High School Girls Rugby Sevens Provincials.
The 16-team tournament, hosted on Vancouver Island April 17-18, saw the Falcons sink their talons into one of the tournament’s top seeds, the Cowichan Thunderbirds from Duncan, to win 32-10 in the bronze-medal game.
The team’s only loss came against the Abbotsford Panthers in a tightly-contested 7-5 semifinal edging — a team they’d hammered 27-0 the day before.
Falcons’ head coach Morley Wilson, who co-coaches the team with Rebecca Thomas and Braeden McCallum, said he was extremely proud of how the team played, and said it all worked out in the end.
“They were so nervous going into that semifinal game,” Wilson said. “By our last game [for bronze] I could tell they were relaxed. They all played well together.”
To reach the bronze-medal match the Falcons defeated Earl Marriot 53-0, Oak Bay 31-0, Kelowna 22-0 and Abbotsford 27-0.
Wilson pointed to the core of Tasha Johnson (37 points), Anna Bracewell (10 points), Skye Forcier, Emma Pfleiderer (20 points), Laura Pfleiderer (51 points), Carleigh Walters (20 points), Emma Feldinger (17 points) and Taylor Sager (five points) in leading the team throughout the tournament.
Johnson, who captains the Falcons, said it was a complete team effort that secured the bronze.
“We finally worked well as a team and it was awesome to see it come together after all these years of playing together,” said Johnson, who scored seven tries at provincials.
“We worked really hard on supporting each other on the field and it totally worked. The scores really reflected how we played.”
Off the field, the team adopted a new mascot — a Falcon stuffie — which added camaraderie among players, Johnson said.
“We’re creating new traditions,” she said.
“He watched all our games and came to all our meals and we’ll be carrying on with that throughout the season.”
Johnson also thanked the team’s coaches for helping them through the tournament.
The bronze-medal game was played in Langford in front of roughly 3,000 people in between matches at the Canada Women’s Sevens — part of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. While at the tournament the team also had the pleasure to watch Williams Lake and Team Canada’s Kayla Moleschi suit up for her country.
Now, the Falcons have shifted their focus to the 15-a-side season, which culminates May 21-23 with the ‘AA’ provincial championships in North Vancouver at the Capilano Rugby Club. Heading in, the team is likely to be seeded third in the province.