They put their best boot forward and came just a goal shy from a final four berth.
The Burnaby Central Wildcats demonstrated resilience and skill at last week’s B.C. senior boys AAA soccer championships at Burnaby Lake West, winding up 10th overall after playing five games in three days.
They wrapped up the tourney on the shortside of a 2-1 score against Sardis on Saturday.
Underdogs the entire way as Lower Mainland No. 3, Burnaby Central were slotted into a pool that included Fraser Valley champion Panorama Ridge, Vancouver Island No. 2 Oak Bay, and North Peace.
Losing 1-0 to Oak Bay in the opener, the Wildcats responded with an explosive 11-1 victory over North Peace.
It all came down to their final round-robin match against undefeated Panorama Ridge. The Surrey school held on against a diligent Burnaby attack for a 1-1 draw, earning the pool’s ticket into the final four.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, started the consolation bracket with a 1-0 victory over Okanagan Mission, lining them up against Sardis in the ninth-place game.
Burnaby Central’s Filip Rakic was named to the Commissioners 11.
Panorama Ridge, meanwhile, continued rolling right until the final.
Coquitlam’s Dr. Charles Best captured the B.C. title, exacting revenge for a Fraser Valley final loss by beating Panorama Ridge 2-1.
Quinn Desaulniers, who scored both goals in the final, was named tourney MVP and picked up the Golden Boot award.