For the third straight year, the Williams Lake FC men’s soccer team dominated the 53rd Pacific Western Brewery May Classic.
Williams Lake earned the championship by defeating the Penticton Pinnacles under-21 team 3-1 on Victoria Day. Fraser Laveay said his team played with a lot of heart and hustle, the latter being their trademark, highlighted by Ty Hough, which resulted in a great goal.
“The Penticton team got to give them all the credit. They are skilled,” said Laveay, who was impressed with their touch on the ball. “Sky is the limit for them.”
The early stages of the match were physical and Laveay said they tried to play a little tough because they are a little older.
“We had to foul a lot more than we normally would,” he said.
Pinnacles coach Wyatt Seddon-Johnstone said everyone settled down after 25 minutes, but added it’s just the competitive side that comes out. Seddon-Johnstone liked his team’s start and felt they caught Williams Lake sleeping a bit, but they couldn’t capitalize on their chances. Seddon-Johnstone also said Williams Lake had an advantage with a larger roster that gradually wore the Pinnacles down.
“We made some silly mistakes and they capitalized. They are a good team,” said Seddon-Johnstone.
Scoring the lone goal for the Pinnacles was Xavier Araujo, who was named the best forward in the men’s division.
The Pinnacles were disappointed in failing to win the tournament after earning a perfect 3-0 record leading into the championship game.
Williams Lake FC also won the women’s recreation division with a 6-1 victory over the Sideline Ceasars from Langley. Taking the women’s open division were the under-21 Pinnacles. Last year they lost 2-0 to the Kamloops Heat. In the finals, the Pinnacles rolled over a tired and injured Calgary team, Fanning on a Dangle, in a 7-0 win. Netting a pair of goals for the Pinnacles were LaDawn Latawiec and Alana Parker with single tallies by Brittany Loney, Carolyn Johnson and Kacia Erzinger. Keeper Emily Edmundson earned the shutout.
Parker, the Pinnacles captain, said they played pretty good as they worked on their new 4-3-3 system intended to create more offence. Parker said Fanning on a Dangle was not used to playing a lot of games.
“Our fitness definitely won us that game,” she said.
The Pinnacles didn’t surrender a goal in four games and Parker said that was awesome.
“We have a great backline and our goalie (Edmundson) is from Thompson Rivers University,” said Parker, who was named the best forward in the women’s open division. “She is an awesome keeper. Very little gets by her.”
Pinnacles coach Ray Hintz said his team did a lot of good things, including moving the ball around. While leading by four in the first half Hintz said he still saw his players panic a bit. Find fully story at www.pentictonwesternnews.com.
Hintz added it was important for them to win the tournament.
“It gives us something to play for,” he said.
Organizer Charlie Goeckel said the weekend went great and it was one of the best tournament’s they have had. Several players approached him and shook his hand praising the club’s efforts. Goeckel also appreciated the South Okanagan Women’s Soccer League putting in a team late after another squad dropped out.
“We just had a great time and that’s the most important thing,” said Laveay, adding that they brought their families and the reason they come is because of the friendship. “The hospitality we get here is rivaled by none. You have the lake, great people. The weather thank goodness came through. Quality soccer.”
Seddon-Johnstone said it was a great tournament that had a good atmosphere.
“People are friends off the field,” he said. “People have fun. Good way to spend a long weekend.”