Champions arose from the pitches at Kings Park over the weekend during the Pinnacles FC Cup.
Boys and girls teams battled for house league supremacy. On the girls side, Summerland defeated Osoyoos 3-0 to win the under-11/12 division, while Penticton (Barron) defeated Osoyoos in the U13/14 division and Penticton (Pat Buchanan) defeated Penticton (Mario Carelse) 2-1 in the U15/16 division.
Summerland U11/12 girls coach Tracey Sorensen said it was a hard fought battle against Osoyoos and both teams played their hearts out. After taking an early lead, Summerland added two more goals. Scoring for them were Eva Barrett, Fawn Hollas and Niamh McCartan.
“I think the girls had their eye on the cup a number of weeks ago because the girls played really strong throughout the entire season,” said Sorensen. “In fact, we never lost a game.”
Their biggest challenger in the PFC Cup was Keremeos in the semifinals. Keremeos’ keeper stood on her head in Sorensen’s opinion. They also opened the scoring in the game. It was the first time Summerland was playing while trailing.
“I was very fortunate to have such a lovely, skilled group of girls,” she said. “They were so coachable and they would easily put practice into play.”
Buchanan’s squad found itself behind within the opening four minutes, but came back to win 2-1 on goals by Natalie Tremblay and Annie Perrier. Talking about the win was still emotional for Buchanan.
“The feeling to see a team win, especially the way it went, was just unbelievable,” said Buchanan. “They won it as a team. They were a team I think from the second practice on.”
In eight matches during the season, Penticton earned five wins, they also had two forfeit wins and a draw. That put them in first, with Carelse’s team in second. Buchanan compared their victory to what Iceland has accomplished in the 2016 UEFA Euro championship or Leicester City winning the British Premier League.
“It’s like holy cow, we just won something,” said Buchanan. “To these kids it may just be a major thing in their lives. It was fun to watch. It was fun to coach.”
Buchanan didn’t feel his team played their strongest game though. There were mistakes, which he said is natural. He took blame for some of it as he didn’t have the defence playing how he prefers.
“They didn’t give up after the first goal. They came back and they were determined to win this thing,” he said. “Give credit to Mario’s team. They came out to win too. At the start of the year, first game they beat us 6-0.”
On the boys side, in U11 it was a battle of Penticton teams, Peters versus Simpson with Peters winning. Osoyoos topped Penticton in the U12 division, while Summerland topped Penticton in the U13/14 division. Summerland defeated Keremeos to win the U15/16 division and Summerland also topped Oliver for the U17/18 division crown.
James Fofonoff coached the Summerland U-17/18 squad to a 3-1 decision. Fofonoff said the victory was special for a couple of reasons. One, in a division with themselves, Penticton and Oliver, they won three of the four matches against Oliver.
“We and Oliver had the closest rivalry. They were often somewhat close. We enjoyed the games,” he said.
The other reason it was special is it’s the final game for the players, who improved every year under him.
“It was a very well played game. Oliver, they were strong. They scored the first goal,” he said, adding it was tied at half.
“The intensity was there.”
Fofonoff saw nervousness in his players, who perform better in the second half.