All that glitters was gold for the Penticton Pinnacles U18 boys at the BC Soccer Youth Provincial B Cup championships in Penticton.
On the last day, July 12, at Kings Park the Pinnacles blanked Kelowna United FC 3-0 in the final game behind the shutout goalkeeping of Brady Van Ryswyk.
The Pinnacles won all four games in the tournament ,which began July 9, allowing only two goals and scoring 18 against opponents.
“The boys should be very proud of themselves from where they’ve come from to where they are now,” said assistant coach Pat Van Ryswyk after the game. “Our guys stuck to the systems that we implemented, the wingers tuck in and they don’t have to come back so far and we played football. We play a disciplined 4-3-3 system, possession is our big thing, that’s the name of the game, we’ve got some speed, we’ve got some goalscoring.”
The victory was especially sweet for the Pinnacles because two of the team’s three defeats during the regular season against Kelowna.
“The first loss (to Kelowna) was a bit of overconfidence, it bit us, but that was probably the best thing that could have happened,” said Van Ryswyk. “It shows you have to be ready to play against anybody.”
Meanwhile, for Pinnacles keeper Brady Van Ryswyk, who still has another year of eligibility in the U18 division, the gold medal was the perfect ending to the season.
“Playing with these guys is probably one of the best teams I’ve played with in a while I think we really mesh together well. Everyone plays for each other,” he said after the win. “When we got down we just kept going we only conceded two goals and that was a big part our attack. Our strategy was to just stick to our game of low pressure and catch them on the counter attack.”
The Pinnacles opened the championships with a 5-0 win over the Columbia Valley Titans and followed that up with a 6-1 decision over Coastal FC Royals and a 4-1 victory over Williams Lake Storm.
In Penticton, the U18 girls earned a bronze with a 2-0 victory over Williams Lake Storm on the final day.
The girls finished second in the division play with a win and a two ties and blanked the Williams Lake Storm 2-0 to earn the bronze medal.
In 100 Mile House it was the U14 boys picking up a silver, losing 3-1 in the championship match to the Central City Breakers of Surrey who went undefeated in the tournament. Penticton finished first in their division with a two-win, one-tie record.
Two other local teams, the Pinnacles U16 girls and U15 boys each wound up fifth in their respective divisions.