The Penticton Tim Hortons Pinnacles would love for some bounces to go their way this weekend.
The Pinnacles were edged by the Abbotsford Magnuson Ford Soccer Club 2-1 at Kings Park in Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier division play June 20. Since a 1-1 draw against the Vancouver Thunderbirds on May 30, they are winless in three games.
“I think we’re playing pretty good. We’ve had some unlucky bounces,” said Pinnacles forward Randy Hubber. “Two of those games we had penalty shots in the last five minutes of the game. Against Vancouver, the guys struck it from 30 or 40 yards and went in.
“It kind of sucks,” said Hubber. “It’s hard on the team when you start losing games like that. When you are in it and you should be getting points.”
Araujo echoed Hubber’s feelings on the team’s play. On June 27, the Pinnacles host the defending George Cambidge Memorial League Cup champs, Khalsa Sporting Club, at 6 p.m at Kings Park. Khalsa Sporting Club won on Tuesday 2-1 against Abbotsford. On June 28, the Pinnacles host Vancouver United FC at noon, who they lost 3-2 against on June 14.
“This is important for us in the league to try and get some points,” said Araujo. “Will we make playoffs? I think it will be tough because of the amount of points that we are behind. You never know. We have to keep working hard. We got to try and get a couple of wins so we can get the momentum going.”
Being new to the Premier Division, Araujo said they are seeing the experience factor.
“We are not used to this level on a regular basis compared to what the teams from the coast bring,” he said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. When you go down and all of a sudden you cause a penalty, in very crucial moments, those are learning moments for us that we shouldn’t be doing that.”
It’s the first meeting of the season between the Pinnacles and Khalsa Sporting Club. Vancouver United is a squad that challenged the Pinnacles with experience as several players have played at the varsity level or higher. Araujo believes that makes a difference. Hubber said compared to the Reserve Division, which they played in last year, players are bigger, stronger and faster. He doesn’t notice much of a difference in skill.
With the four teams qualifying, the Pinnacles, two wins, one draw and seven losses, are nine points behind Khalsa Sporting Club for the final berth.
“A couple bounces our way and we would be right up there in the mix for the playoffs,” said Hubber. “I personally think we are a playoff team.”
To get back on track, Hubber said they just need to keep the ball on the ground and play a quick, tight game. Playing at home should help. The Pinnacles have one win, a draw and two losses. Araujo hopes they can get a good crowd supporting them.
“We will have more of the youth coming out because last weekend they were all in Kamloops doing the play downs,” he said. “I think that feeds off the players. Hopefully we can have a couple of wins.”