Five Pinnacles Football Club teams will be vying for a provincial championship next month.
In Kamloops for the Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League play downs the U16 girls as well as the U14, -15 and -18 boys punched their ticket to provincials by winning the valley championship.
Ezra Cremers, head coach of Pinnacles FC, said the playoffs was a success, despite a couple of disappointments. One of them with the U14 girls, who lost 2-1 in overtime to Kelowna in the final.
The U13 girls lost to Vernon 3-0, while the U16 girls defeated Vernon 4-1 in the semifinal and blanked Kelowna 4-0.
“They were second in the league and they tied the first place team every single time,” said Cremers. “That’s a very big statement victory. Peaking at the right time is important. That group is definitely peaking.”
The U18 girls will be in provincials as the host team, though they lost to Shuswap 2-1 in the final.
On the boys’ side, the U13s pounded Kamloops 6-0, then bowed to Kelowna 5-0. The U14s remain undefeated as they whipped Kamloops 12-1 and defeated Vernon 3-0 in the final. Cremers said they are looking strong.
The U15s, who struggled “to find a winning formula,” said Cremers, pulled off an upset. They defeated Kelowna 3-0 in their first game, then lost to Kelowna 2-1 in a rematch. However, goal differential was in their favour, helping them advance.
The U18s are the other team to earn their way.
“They are an interesting squad,” said Cremers, adding that on paper the team is talented. “When you get a little bit older, you start looking at the premier team because that’s the next level. We have had several players play for the older team. Also had some injuries. The end of their season wasn’t so good.”
In the semifinal, Pinnacles FC defeated a tough, physical Shuswap team 2-0. That pitted them against Kelowna, which resulted in a 4-1 win with a full roster.
“I’m just very proud of the group. Winning at the older age groups is important,” said Cremers. “Winning is part of the development. To see teams as low as U14 doing well, the future is bright for what I call ‘the little club that could.’”
Penticton will host the Les Sinnott Memorial Boys Provincial Cup and Girls Provincial B Cup (ages U15 and older) July 9-12. The Les Sinnott Memorial Boys Provincial B Cup for U13-15 is in 100 Mile House.