Goalkeeper Renee Chernoff was key in the Pinnacles FC under-13 girls win, 2-0 over Kelowna United Sunday in Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League action at King’s Park.
The keeper was praised by coach Derrick Webb for her play as she was forced to make a couple of huge saves to keep the game scoreless in the first half.
“The only reason it was 0-0 is because our goalkeeper made just an unbelievable save,” said Webb, adding that Chernoff was able to tip the ball and bring it down, then swiped it away from the net.
In the second half, the Pinnacles rewarded Chernoff with a pair of goals from Allyn Deakin and Emmy Caruso. The Pinnacles FC squad carried the possession the rest of the game.
“We kind of ran Kelowna ragged. About midway through the half, our little Messi (nicknamed after Argentina’s star Lionel Messi), Allyn Deakin scored a beauty from the top of the 18,” said Webb.
About 10 minutes later, Caruso put the dagger in the Kelowna side.
“I think they (Kelowna United) probably felt we were a little fortunate to get away with it because of that first half chance they had,” said Webb. “They had some quality chances in the first half and then that was it. We certainly outchanced them as well.”
Now the under-13 team enters the TOYSL playdowns against Vernon this weekend riding a four-game winning streak.
In Vernon, the Pinnacles face a big, physical and fast team. The winner will then match up Sunday against the winner of Kelowna United and Kamloops. Nonetheless, Webb said his group is peaking at the right time.
“If we bring our A-game this weekend, the girls should have a good weekend in the play-downs,” said Webb, whose team lost to Vernon 3-0 and defeated them 2-1 at King’s Park in previous games.
The provincial championship begins July 3 in Chilliwack.
In other Pinnacles FC action, the under-14 team lost to Kelowna United 8-0 at King’s Park. Despite the lopsided score, coach Andy Selles said his group played well, especially in the first half.
“The season was a learning experience for the girls,” he said. “For many of them this was their first year playing district soccer, which is vastly more competitive than club play. Every coach in the league had commented to me how much the girls have improved from the beginning of the season. They’ve sustained pressure on the top teams during periods of games and caused them a lot of difficulty in controlling the play.”
While the Penticton squad didn’t win a game, they are looking at play-downs as a new season.
“Vernon’s the top team, but the girls have remained positive throughout the year and are going to battle them physically to the final whistle,” said Selles.
Other Pinnacles FC scores in the girls divisions had the under-15 team lose 3-2 to Kelowna, the under-17 team lost to Vernon 1-0 and the under-18 squad came out on top 4-3 against Kamloops Blue. In the boys division, the under-13 squad ended the regular season with a 5-1 loss to Shuswap. Kelowna gave the under-14 team its first loss, 3-2. The under-15 team hammered Shuswap 12-0. The under-17 squad settled for a 0-0 draw against Kelowna U16.