Penticton Pinnacles FC has four boys soccer teams competing for the Les Sinnot Memorial provincial B cup championship in Richmond July 3-6.
A 9-0-1 finish in the Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League regular season for the under-13 squad was capped by a 1-0 win against Kelowna United.
“I knew it was going to be a tight game,” said coach Manuel Borba, adding that the two teams had close matches all season.
The winner didn’t come until the 92nd minute.
“We scored a goal off a corner kick we have been practising all season,” said Borba.
Austin Afonso buried the goal and was mobbed by teammates.
“It was exciting,” said Afonso of his goal. “The play never worked until then. I was shocked that I scored.”
Below a photos of Pinnacles FC under-13.
The under-14 squad, which won the TOYSL regular season going 4-1-1, defeated Kelowna United 4-2. Below is the team.
The under-15 team opened the tournament by defeating the Kamloops Blaze, then defeated Vernon 3-1 on goals by Alex Preston, Rylan van Der Meulan and Kyle Martins. The victory was huge, said Afonso, since Vernon is the only team to beat the Pinnacles, who went 6-2-0, this season.
“To meet them in the final was exactly what we wanted,” said coach Joe Afonso. “If you can’t beat a team that you’ve lost to through the season, I don’t think you deserve to go play at a high calibre. The boys beat their nemesis.”
A large reason was because of Grayson Perrier’s performance as he shut down Vernon’s top offensive threat.
“Poor kid couldn’t do anything,” said Afonso. “That took the focus off him and back to what our team play could be.”
Afonso said it’s huge for his group to compete for a provincial title a third time. In their first year as under-13s, they earned bronze. Last year they finished sixth.
“We have probably the best chance they have had in three years,” he said of becoming provincial champs.
The under-17 team, which took the regular season title with four wins in 14 games, defeated Kelowna United 5-4 with their 10th shooter in penalty shots.
“It was a fantastic game,” said Araujo. “Probably played the best game of their season.”
The two squads traded goals throughout. Pinnacles FC trailed 3-2 then took a 4-3 lead in the first overtime period. With 20 seconds remaining in the second overtime, Kelowna United made it 4-4 to send it into penalty shots. Kevin Kearney scored twice for Pinnacles FC with Thomas Webb and Moises Mumjuia each scoring once.
It’s the first time in the associations’ history that three boys teams won the league championship and qualified for provincials, according to Pinnacles FC head coach and executive director Ezra Cremers.
The Pinnacles FC under-18 girls are challenging for Provincial A cup and face Prince George for the Interior berth. Carlos Mendonca’s squad is traveling to Prince George this weekend for a two-game series after they were awarded the right to host the playoff by B.C. soccer. Pinnacles FC under-18 finished first in TOYSL with seven wins and one loss, but declared in January that they would challenge an A cup provincial spot.
The under-13 team was shut down by Vernon 2-0, while the under-14 bowed 6-0 to Vernon. The under-15 team was edged by Kelowna United 2-1 and the under-17 team was edged by Vernon, 2-1.
The under-12 No.1 defeated Salmon Arm 2-1, then tied Kelowna, while U-12 team No. 2 beat Kamloops 5-2 and lost to Kelowna 4-0. Both teams have one week remaining in their season.