Harry Holman sat disappointed.
A defender for the Penticton Tim Horton’s Pinnacles under-21 team, Holman pondering after his team lost 4-2 to West Vancouver FC on Saturday in the Challenge Cup, the championship tournament for the Pacific Coast Soccer League.
“Just upset really,” said Holman, looking onto the field at King’s Park. “Just upset we didn’t make it. We had chances. They took their chances and…”
He wasn’t able to say much more.
The Pinnacles did have chances. The best was by Randy Hubber, who wired a shot off the post. With West Vancouver FC keeper Skyler Causey cleanly beat, it appeared as though it was only a formality for Hubber. West Van FC scored first and received offence from Willie Wescott with two goals, Stefan Cramer and Hans Schranz.
There was another missed opportunity for the Pinnacles before Kyle Logan’s goal was waved off as the play was offside. Jeremy Pereira finally helped the Pinnacles score as he setup Dan Hunt, who fired a shot just inside the 18-yard-box.
After trailing the first half 2-1, the Pinnacles tied it early in the second on a goal by Matt Reese. With chances to take a lead, it was West Van FC netting the winner in the middle of the half.
Holman said he wasn’t sure what hurt them that afternoon.
“I thought we were ready,” he said. “I just thought that they came out and wanted it more.”
Losing in front of their fans was hard to deal with.
“We wanted to win it for them and for us,” said Holman.
For most of the game, the playing field was even. Jeremy Pereira felt the Pinnacles played well and liked their ball movement. He said they were “just a little lost in front of the net.”
He said it was a bad game to lose because of the chances but added they must hold their heads high. His reasoning for the loss was that they held the ball too long and should have expected it coming at the net.
“That’s what makes or breaks games are those little touches in front of the net,” he said. “And they got to them and we didn’t. That was the difference.”
Coach Tony Munoz thought for a bit before saying “we win as a team, we lose as a team” when asked about their play.
He didn’t blame anyone but chose to look at the positives. They went 6-4-2 when he felt not much was expected of them. Last year under Chris Bennett, the Pinnacles won four, lost six and tied two
“We were unlucky on some of the ball, having a bad bounce and not finishing right,” said Munoz, who thanks the players, management and fans. “We have finished in the past, it’s just not individual, it’s just a bad bounce.”
West Van FC went on to lose the championship to Okanagan FC 3-1. On the women’s side, Fraser Valley Action are the Reserve Division champs after winning 3-0 against the Kamloops Heat. In the Premier Division, the men’s champ are the Okanagan Challenge, who defeated the Khalsa Sporting Club in a shootout 5-4. It was 2-2 after regulation. In the women’s division, the Vancouver Thunderbirds defeated the Fraser Valley Action 2-0.
Manuel Borba, a director with the Penticton Soccer Club, which runs the Pinnacles under-21 teams, said the championship went well.
“We were very honoured to be asked to host it,” said Borba. “It was very good competition. The fields were in great shape. It was good to see all the guys that helped us 15 years ago get in the league come up and give us the honour of hosting the playoffs.”
For the 2012 PCSL season, Borba has already said that the women’s team will return. He was disappointed a team wasn’t fielded this season. Part of the problem from the jobs players get that at times doesn’t allow for them to be available for games.
“We are very strong there, we are looking to have under-17 players join with some of the older girls,” said Borba. “Our goal is to have two teams next year.”
With the mens club, there were struggles filling a roster. Borba said he wants to see local players fill making up the team as that is the reason they entered the league. One question Borba brought up is if they have enough quality men’s players to play at that level. If there are, he wonders why they didn’t play. He wants to see the Pinnacles field two teams.
With the PCSL championship now in the books, the Penticton Soccer Club will shift its focus to the Peach City Classic, which Borba said has over 50 teams registered. The tournament is Aug. 12 to 14.