If they don’t get down, the Penticton Tim Horton’s Pinnacles under-21 team believes they can win the Challenge Cup.
The Pinnacles are hosting the Pacific Coast Soccer League championship this weekend at King’s Park and Randy Hubber, one of the go-to guys offensively for the Pinnacles believes they can do damage.
“Our team is looking really strong,” said Hubber, adding the key to success this weekend is playing as a team and keeping positive.
The Pinnacles concluded the season with a 7-1 loss July 17 to Coquitlam Metro-Ford. Dan Hunt, who finished second in the league with 15 goals, scored the only marker. However, coach Tony Munoz had just 10 players to work with as Kyle Morgan couldn’t play due to injury, two players were sitting because of yellow cards and one player missed the bus. On July 16, the Pinnacles downed Victoria United 1-0. Hunt scored the winner. And on July 3, the Pinnacles and Vancouver FC engaged in a scoring spree that resulted in a 7-7 draw. Hubber and Hunt scored twice. The Pinnacles finished third in the Reserve Division with a record of six wins, four losses and two draws. They scored 33 goals and allowed 28.
Munoz chalked up the season to a year of learning and the players getting familiarized with each other.
“We are reaching a pinnacle right now,” he said. “We went to Victoria and we did what we had to do to secure our position in third place. I’m really happy with the way the team is coming along.”
Hubber agrees with Munoz on how the group is coming together.
“If everything goes well this weekend and everyone shows up that’s supposed to, I have no problems seeing us win it all,” said Hubber. “A very good chance.”
One thing Munoz feels the team has going for it is the right attitude.
Hubber is confident because of the key players. He is impressed with Hunt who has delivered all season. On defence, Dion Gouldsborough, Harry Holman, Tyler Allison and Devon Ulrich have been strong. He also praised the keepers.
Gouldsborough also feels the team is looking good after going through a slump. He likes how the defence is implementing a new system they started using against Victoria United which they jam the middle.
“We have played really well,” said Gouldsborough. “I think we can take it. We have a good core and strong subs. The key is sticking to the game plan and not getting desperate.”
With the championship starting tomorrow, Hubber said the team is more than excited.
“We can’t wait to get on the field,” he said. “Everyone is coming out pumped and ready to play. Everyone’s game should be stepped up.”
Opening ceremonies will be at 1 p.m., with action starting an hour later as first-place Coquitlam Metro-Ford faces fourth-place Okanagan FC. The other matchup features the Pinnacles against third-place West Van FC, who the Pinnacles defeated 4-2 in May, then lost 2-1 in June. The Reserve Men’s final will be at 10:30 a.m., as will the Women’s Reserve final.
In Premier Division action, the Vancouver Thunderbirds take on the Okanagan Challenge at 4:30 p.m., while Surrey United faces Khalsa Sporting Club. On the women’s side, it’s the Thunderbirds against Surrey United and Whitecaps Prospects against the Fraser Valley Action. The Premier final will be at 1 p.m. with closing ceremonies at 3:30 p.m.