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Pinnacles head to post season for first time in Premier division

The Penticton Pinnacles are off to the playoffs next weekend
Penticton Pinnacles James Fraser (right) and Vancouver United FC Julian Gailiunas get tangled up at midfiled in Saturday’s final game of the Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier Men’s division match at King’s Park. Mark Brett/Western News

For the first time since joining the Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier Men’s division, the Penticton Tim Hortons Pinnacles are headed to the playoffs.

On July 21, the Pinnacles edged the Khalsa Sporting Club (New Westminster) 2-1 at a neutral-site venue in Chilliwack to earn a berth in the post season, which begins this weekend in Port Moody, July 29 to 30. On July 22, Penticton played host to the visiting Vancouver United Football Club at King’s Park in a mean-nothing match, giving up a 5-1 decision.

The Pinnacles will face Vancouver United FC again at 4 p.m. Saturday. Earlier in the season, the Pinnacles lost to Vancouver United FC 3-0.

“Vancouver United had kind of had our number this year,” said Dale Anderson, president of the Penticton Soccer Club, which operates the Pinnacles. “If they get over confident, and start thinking about the game next, instead of the game they are in, we’ll have an opportunity. Our team is strong enough to beat anybody on any day.”

Anderson hopes Vancouver thinks past Saturday and overlooks the Pinnacles.

“If they do that, that could be a big mistake,” he said. “Our guys, they’re ready to play.”

Anderson has confidence in the squad because they have the right mix of veteran players with youth. It’s a group that features the most local talent the club has ever had. Anderson feels they have been fielding their best squad ever.

“I think that really says a lot,” he said, praising the development work of Pinnacles FC.

One of the additions he praised is Dylan Crawford, who has been playing in the Murray GM Men’s League for two years. Anderson likes the skill he possesses and encouraged him to train hard to try an earn a spot on the Pinnacles.

“He said it is just fabulous to see that level of soccer and be able to play in it,” said Anderson. “You’re not going to see that level in a city league in Penticton.”

The other PCSL semifinal has the Mid-Isle Mariners take on the Vancouver Thunderbirds. The winners of both semis will play for the George Cambidge Memorial League Cup Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Heading into last weekends matchups, the Pinnacles had a 4-6-0 record, ahead of Khalsa by a single point with a game in hand. They finished with a record of five wins and seven losses.

The Pinnacles game against the New West squad was a make-up contest for the July 7 game at King’s Park which was cancelled because of smokey air conditions.

James Fraser led the Pinnacles with five goals, which puts him fourth in the league. Close behind him was teammate Enzo Paal with three, while Randy Hubber and Ryan Glanville, each had two.

Jarrod Mendonca (right) of the Penticton Pinnacles and Gagan Dosangh of Vancouver United FC go head to head for the ball during Saturday’s Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier Men’s division game at King’s Park. The visitors won the game 4-1 but the Pinnacles will still advance to the playoffs for the first in this division. Mark Brett/Penticton Western News

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