Three Pinnacles FC teams have qualified for the B.C. Soccer B Cup provincial championships.
The under-14 boys will travel to Vernon July 6 to 9 for the Les Sinnott Memorial Boys Provincial Cup, while the under-16 and -18 girls teams will head to Surrey.
The under-18 girls squad is getting a chance to defend its provincial championship after sweeping Kelowna United in a pair of 2-1 victories June 15 and 18 to decide seeding. In the first win, Savanna Yamamoto and Kyra Wallace scored, while Jollee Perrier and Elena Selles knocked in goals in the second game. For Selles, the winner was her first goal of the season.
“Everyone was excited. I don’t know if she knew how to celebrate scoring a goal,” joked coach Carlos Mendonca. “All the girls were pretty happy for her.”
Over the two games, Mendonca liked the ball control the team displayed, but he thought the players lacked in finish.
“Kelowna played very good strong defence. It was just finding ways to get them to open up so we could get in there,” he said. “The girls played well.”
The group impressed their coach with how they worked the ball around the field. They also came up with different ways to generate offensive chances adjusting to Kelowna’s defensive play. Mendonca said the players did what they could to spread out Kelowna’s defence, which led to Selles’ goal.
“We were able to stretch their defence and create a couple of holes,” he said, adding that is when Selles found a hole to score. “It was a chess match. That’s neat to see when they figure that out.”
The Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League under-14 boys championship came down to the top two seeds, No 1 Kamloops United Blaze (four wins, three ties, one loss) and the Pinnacles FC (four wins, three ties, one loss). The PFC lost 2-1 in a game which coach Stephen Grant felt they outplayed Kamloops, but were out muscled.
“Kamloops is a very physical team that plays direct soccer and we are a possession team made of 2003’s and 2004’s that didn’t finish our chances,” he said.
Grant said it was an very evenly matched game that went back and forth and into extra time. Kamloops scored on a broken play with two minutes left in the second extra period. PFC opened the scoring on Jaras Grant’s goal. Kamloops tied the game off of a penalty kick due to a missed tackle in the box.
The under-16 girls team, which finished two points ahead of Kelowna United in the standings, were edged 2-1 in the championship game. Rylee McDonald scored the only goal in the loss. It was the fourth matchup between the teams with all three before ending in a 1-1 draw.
“For whatever reason our team doesn’t have their best games against Kelowna,” said coach Derrick Webb. “We seem to be a little uptight and make a lot of errors that we don’t usually make.”
Webb said Kelowna plays hard and doesn’t give players time on the ball and forces errors. Webb felt in open play they created more chances but couldn’t convert on a couple breakaways. Both Kelowna goals came on set plays that the Pinnacles defended poorly said Webb.
The PFC coach said it was a big letdown to not win the match.
“This is the third year in a row we have lost to Kelowna in the TOYSL final,” he said. “We thought we were the better team all year and were confident we would finally get the monkey off our backs.”
PFC had gone into the match coming off a 6-0 win over Shuswap.