Kyle Martins made the Pinnacles FC under-15 boys soccer team provincial champions, when he buried the 1-0 winner in double overtime against the South Burnaby Strikers in Richmond July 6.
“It was amazing,” said coach Joe Afonso. “They were definitely the toughest team we’ve played. The boys were just drained at the end. When you get to that level, it’s just not about talent, it’s about adversity, right? The group worked as a team. It wasn’t just individual plays. It’s nice to see at 15-years-old, they come together.”
The team broke out in celebration of their Les Sinnot Memorial championship by running towards goalkeeper Jacob Stokker, who Afonso said played amazing.
“I overheard a lot of kids say I can’t believe we just won the gold medal,” said Afonso.
The group felt this was the best year for them to win. A big part of making that happen was the play of the defensive line.
“They were definitely so strong that game,” added Afonso, who praised the efforts of all his players. “Had they played any weaker, their strikers would have went right through us and won the game.”
As a coach, Afonso said it’s humbling to win because the players worked so hard.
“You want the kids to win, but you want them to have fun and enjoy the game that I love,” he said.
U17s get silver
Pinnacles FC U17 coach Paulo Araujo said his team over-achieved after they lost the championship game 2-1 in penalty shots to the Saanich Fusion Impact.
“I thought our team played very well. They worked very hard,” said Araujo, who watched his group trail 1-0 in the first half. “The boys battled back. Moises Mumjuia scored a beautiful free kick to tie it up (in the second half).”
In the second half, Pinnacles FC dominated and Araujo said they should have scored more. In round robin play, the Pinnacles faced Cliff Avenue United, Delta Coastal FC Royals and the Columbia Valley Titans, winning twice and tying to finish first.
“I thought we had the toughest division,” said Araujo.
Other results for Pinnacles FC in provincials had the U13 boys team finish fourth after being doubled up 4-2 by the Surrey FC Eagles and the U14 boys squad took fifth with a 3-0 win against Juan De Fuca.
“I think that’s very good results,” said Araujo, of what the soccer association accomplished. “To be able to compete with those teams from the coast, I think the future looks bright for this club.”
Pinnacles FC under-18 girls team were unsuccessful in challenging Prince George for a provincial A cup berth for the Interior. They traveled to Prince George for a two-game set on June 21-22. Coach Carlos Mendonca said his group had a slow start in the first game, losing 3-0. Pinns FC needed to get the same result in the next game to force penalty shots. Nicole Mann scored her team’s lone goal in a 1-1 game.