They were up for the challenge, but Lady Luck seemed to have the other team's number.
The New Westminster Whitecaps dominated for much of the game but were unfortunate to fall 1-0 to the North Shore Avalanche in the under-14 girls Coastal B Cup semifinal at Mercer Stadium on Sunday.
The lone goal of the game came minutes into the second half and against the flow of play, where New West's netminder made a good save but an Avalanche player was in the right place to bury the rebound.
"It was a little disappointing because I thought we deserved better," said coach Andy Vlachos. "It was a back-and-forth first half, but we were all over them in the second half."
New West hit a number of posts and crossbars, with striker Daniela Testani catching the horizontal post late in the match. In the final 10 minutes, they had half a dozen corner kicks that North Shore skillfully kicked out.
Although a bit tentative at the start, New West garnered the momentum as the game progressed.
"Our girls were up (for the game). They started a little lost and looked worried, but their confidence built as the game went on," remarked Vlachos. "They know now they can play against the best teams."
That will come in handy, as, thanks to a victory in the District final, the Whitecaps will be the host team come July at the provincial B cup tournament, which will be played in Burnaby.
The team already posted the best record in the B.C. league playoffs, after shaking off a 3-9-0 regular season, hampered by a brash of injuries to start the year.
"We have more soccer, so I think this could be something they take with them. Sometimes a loss can give you a boost."