Three Pinnacles FC soccer teams are Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League play down winners.
After trailing 1-0 at the end of the first half, the U15 boys picked up their game and got goals from Christian Martins and Austin Afonso against Kelowna United in a 2-1 win at Kings Park.
“I thought they played well,” said Pinnacles coach Manuel Borba.
“Our goalie Ryan Peters made three really good saves to keep us in the game. It was a good, tough win for us.”
Against a strong team, Borba said it was a battle for his group which is good heading into provincials to get tough games like Sundays.
The U15 boys advanced to the play down final after defeating Vernon 3-1. Borba said the season was a learning one for his team, who at the start was coached by Cesar Ceppi, the Penticton Pinnacles mens coach in the Pacific Coast Soccer League. The Brazilian instilled a Brazilian style with the group. Borba said the results in the win column weren’t quite there, but the players keep using techniques that worked for them while the team reverted back to the Dutch system used by the club. Borba said learning another style is good for the players development as well as being able to adapt to position changes, which was asked of some players against Kelowna.
“The biggest thing is how mentally tough they are becoming. They are understanding the game doesn’t always go 4-0 or 5-0 for you,” said Borba. “You have to fight in these tough games and wsometimes come from behind.”
The team was given a boost by the U18 boys side who stayed to watch their game.
“They were hooting and hollering,” said Pinnacles FC U18 coach Ezra Cremers. “It seemed to influence the game and give energy to the boys.”
The U18 boys saw their season end with a 1-0 loss to a Kelowna that featured only U18 players, while the Pinnacles team varied in age. Cremers said liked how his group played. The winning goal came after a non-call went against the Pinnacles.—
“We have to look at ourselves and not look at the referees,” said Cremers, whose team gave up three shots to Kelowna.
Cremers admitted it was frustrating for his team to not score more on the chances they created.
“When you don’t put it away and you know you played some good football, you’re definitely disappointed,” said Cremers.
The U18 girls were the only Pinnacles FC side to win their play down final. They handily defeated Kelowna 5-1. Jasper Pankratz netted a hat trick, while Celine Francisco and Britney Young rounded out the scoring.
When it came to team play, coach Ray Hintz didn’t think his group brought energy.
“I thought we were sloppy at times, maybe having the week off,” said Hintz. “I just thought we didn’t have the emotion. We were only 2-0 at half time. Kelowna had some chances to tie the game in the first half.”
Hintz was disappointed how the match ended as his goalkeeper Shelby Rodgers received a red card. She was penalized while trying to knock the ball out of the box area and made contact with the opposing player. Hintz said the team plans to appeal it. If they don’t win the appeal, Rodgers will have to sit out the first game of provincials.
The U15 girls lost their final match 3-1 in extra time to Kelowna United. Emmy Caruso was the lone scorer. Kelowna went ahead on a penalty kick goal that took a bounce just as goalkeeper Julia Devito went to grab it. Pinnacles FC coach Derrick Webb said he would like to see his team face Kelowna United in provincials. Webb said his team did not play as well as it did in their semifinal win, 4-2 over Vernon United.
“At times we played all right,” said Webb, who credited Kelowna for playing strong defensively. “We seemed to come out flat.”
The other Pinnacles winner were the U17 girls, who won by default as there are no other teams in their age group. They played the season in the U16-18 division and won one of 12 games.
The Pinnacles host the Girls Provincial B Cup July 7-10.