The Murray GM Pinnacles defended their Pacific Western Brewery May Classic women’s open title over the weekend.
The Pinnacles won the championship as they crushed Delta United 6-0 on May 17.
“Overall it was good even though the competition wasn’t as strong,” said Pinnacles coach Ray Hintz, whose team also picked up a 4-0 win against Calgary DK United and 3-0 over Calgary Team Awesome. “It was good to build on confidence and build on things.”
Against Delta United, the Pinnacles had what Hintz said was a slow start with the opposing team coming out strong. The game was scoreless through the first 20 minutes before the Pinnacles put away two quick goals. Hintz looked at it as getting confidence for his younger players who are learning from veterans. The Pinnacles used the weekend to work on their fitness and systems.
Picking up two shutouts was Emily Edmundson, while Caitlyn Spooner played the final game.
The men’s side crowned a new champ with Williams Lake FC not returning. The Vancouver Legends survived the sun and playing with 13 players to cruise past Kelowna FC 5-0 on Monday.
“We’re wounded warriors now,” said Lukas Bennett of the Legends. “We just got a couple early, boom, got the victory. It feels great to win.”
Bennett gave credit to Kelowna FC, who challenged them adding they moved the ball well.
“They really kind of caught us by surprise,” said Bennett, whose team won a full set of team uniforms for winning the tournament. “It was full-on from the start. Real competitive. The sun and fatigue kicks in, slows it down. A bit of a chess match. It was just a great battle.”
Bennett and the Legends returned to Penticton to play in the tournament for a second time and said they love it.
“Guys mark it off on their calendars six to seven months in advance,” said Bennett, who praised the PSC. “The tournament is the best.”
Bennett also boasted about the sunny weather and the grass fields.
“We don’t have grass fields anymore in Vancouver,” he said. “Everything is astro turf. Four beautifully manicured grass fields.”
Winning the B final on the men’s side were the Steveston Park Grads 5-1 against Salmon Arm Courvas. The women’s rec side was won by Williams Lake FC, 2-1 against the Penticton Grizzlies. The Pinnacles under-18 men’s team opened the tournament with an 8-1 win against the Vancouver Ex Patriots, then lost to the Legends 1-0 and lost 5-2 to the West Kootenay No Stars.
Dale Anderson, president of the Penticton Soccer Club, said he received comments from visiting teams that this is the best tournament in B.C.
“Lots of teams are saying they are coming back next year. It’s looking pretty good,” said Anderson, adding that he feels they can have 32 teams within two years.
When Anderson wasn’t stuck in the club house, he had a chance to watch games and liked what he saw.
“The play that I’ve seen is actually pretty high calibre,” he said. “Some teams come here to have fun, but there’s still quite a few teams that come here to try and win. The prizes (all winning teams receive a full set of uniforms) are decent.”
Anderson also received positive comments on the officiating, which please him since they have a mentorship program with young officials.