Pinnacles will gladly take bronze medals

They were after gold but Penticton’s under-16 boys and under-17 girls Pinnacles teams are just as happy with bronze.

Bryanne Francisco of the Penticton Pinnacles under-16 team gives their keeper Anne Theilmann

Bryanne Francisco of the Penticton Pinnacles under-16 team gives their keeper Anne Theilmann

They were after gold but Penticton’s under-16 boys and under-17 girls Pinnacles teams are just as happy with bronze.

The under-16 boys Pinnacles erased a 1-0 lead to defeat the Prince George Kodiaks 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. The South Okanagan Youth Soccer Association hosted the BC Soccer B Cup provincial championship. Dylan Crawford and Lex Phillips, playing with a torn meniscus, put the Pinnacles over the top.

“We were really digging and working hard and we should have got more goals but it just didn’t go our way,” said Phillips. “We had lots of chances but at least we won. It was a good, tough game.”

Coach Peter Ruocco was impressed with Phillips’ game-winning tally as he broke down the right side and fired, what he described as a “howitzer” of a shot that eluded the keeper inside the post.

“It was pretty rewarding for the boys,” said Ruocco. “This is last year’s provincial champs (Kodiaks). Played them three times this year. Lost the first time we played, tied in a tourney in May and I guess we have just been inching closer. We finally got our revenge in this one.”

Ruocco said his players’ ability to pressure more in the second half led to more chances.

“We thought our top two guys up front were quicker than their back four,” said Ruocco. “The idea was to get a diagonal ball in behind their defence. Let our guys do their job and they did it.”

Tony Afonso, coach of the under-17 Pinnacles felt his team played excellent all weekend and credited the strong play of his backline. In defeating Gordon Head/Cordova Bay for bronze, Afonso said they faced a physical team that played hard.

“All our players really stepped it up,” said Afonso, who was without two of his best players in Amanda Chyzzy due to injury and Jessie Lynn Olfert to a red card. “The passing was there.”

Getting the Pinnacles going offensively were Shannon Parker, Ellen Rutherford and Crystal Schuder. The key to the Pinnacles win, according to Afonso, was sticking to the game plan. They like to work the ball out wide and get the crosses in.

“They were a tough team,” he said. “It feels good (to get bronze), we won gold last year. Two years in a row at provincials and we haven’t lost, we had one tie and six wins. We were a little disappointed we didn’t get to the final, but I think overall the girls feel really good about it.”

Gabby Levesque was impressed with how they played given that they were faced with some rough games.

“We were all aching and sore but I think we gave it our best,” she said.

Against Gordon Head/Cordova Bay, Levesque said they were a worthy opponent as they move the ball well and are physical.

“They are a good team and gave us a good challenge,” she said.

100 Mile House hosted the under-15 provincials and the Pinnacles boys team defeated Coquitlam Metro-Ford Hotspurs 1-0 for bronze. Taking gold was North Delta, who defeated Gorge FC.

Other results are as follows, in boys action, the under-14 Pinnacles defeated Nelson 7-1 in their final game. The CVUSC Vipers won gold in that age group, while Prince George Kodiaks took silver and Point Grey Rovers bronze.

In under 16 boys, Guildford AC Vipers defeated Coquitlam Metro-Ford Vipers for gold.

In under-17 action, West Van Spuraways defeated the Kamloops Blaze for gold, while Lakehill Emery Electric won bronze.

Chilliwack Attack won gold against Nelson in under-18 action, while Bulkley Valley took bronze.  The Pinnacles lost their final game to Campbell River Marine FC 3-2.

Under 14 girls- Peninsula Comets won gold, Coquitlam Metro-Ford Galaxy silver, and Surdel Force bronze. The Penticton Pinnacles finished fourth.

Under-16- Nanaimo won gold, Coquitlam Metro-Ford Diablos won silver and Kelowna took bronze. The Pinnacles lost their final game to Kamloops 4-0.

Under-17 girls- Surrey Breakers Elite won gold, Surrey United Force won silver, and the Pinnacles took bronze against Gordon Head/Cordova Bay 3-0.

Under-18 girls- SUS Wild Ones won gold, CVUSC Evolution silver and Dunbar Dynamite won bronze.