As they hit the field on Saturday, Feb. 15, some of the Squamish United players were under the weather.
Up against the North Vancouver Maverick team, the U17 players were competing in a winner-takes-it-all game for a shot at the Provincial Cup. But the Squamish team only had 11 players on their roster, with two out sick, some on a school trip and another four running a fever of 103 the day before.
Ultimately, the Maverick players were successful, with a score of 2-0.
"Every second that seemed to go by, our energy level was dropping. It was a very tough game," Squamish coach Dale Venekamp said, after the game. "The opposing team played great. There was some good movement on there. They were a really good group of boys to play against, got to hand it to them."
The first goal was scored against Squamish more than an hour into the game. Venekamp said it was a slow build-up, but a good game to watch.
"The first goal was unfortunate in regards to being taken off a deflection off of our own defender clearing it, bounces it off of him, and then our reaction time was slow," he said.
"As much as it is great to win, it's about developing each individual soccer player, to help them grow to be better footballers and then, as a team, grow in regards to playing the game the way it's truly meant to be played."
Although the team was disappointed with their loss, Venekamp said they showed great communication on the field and led themselves through a variety of four formations on the field.
This season has also seen a big learning curve for the team. Seven of the players have taken on new positions and there are four new players on the team.
"Next year is their last year playing youth soccer, so we just want to finish strong," Venekamp said.
The team still has three more league games this season. The next will be played at Brennan Park on Saturday, Feb. 22, against Wesburn Galaxy. Squamish United may also play in the Slurpee Cup in Kamloops.