Minus a one-goal effort on July 13, the Penticton Pinnacles under-21 men’s team has displayed a high-octane offence.
Pinnacles coach Paulo Araujo has watched his players score 13 goals in three Pacific Coast Soccer League Reserve Division matches, which resulted in two convincing wins. The other was a 1-1 draw against Chilliwack FC. The Pinnacles recent outburst was a 5-0 win at King George Park as they thumped TSS Academy.
A week before that at home, the Pinnacles handled the same team, 7-0.
“I think the offence is coming on,” said Araujo, who was asked if TSS Academy is a weaker team. “They are a younger team. I know for last weekend they brought in some newer players to try and help the team out. One of them played professionally in England and has been part of the Canada program. He added some good spark to the team.
“The score doesn’t really reflect that it’s a bad or a good team,” continued Araujo.
“I think they are actually not a bad squad,” he said. “We played well. They have beaten the top team in the league.”
Contributing to the Pinnacles offensive explosion is Randy Hubber, who scored once in the 7-0 win and three more on Sunday. He scored the lone tally against Chilliwack FC.
“He had a good weekend,” said Araujo of Hubber. “He’s playing well.”
Captain Wyatt Seddon-Johnstone netted two in the 7-0 win and added another on Sunday.
Araujo said his team has played the same all season, with a focus on possession and low pressure defence. Against Chilliwack FC, Araujo said they should have won. They had missed chances, but the coach was still happy with their play because it was on the road.
“Playing on artificial turf on a smaller field it makes a big difference,” he said.
Their final game of the season is at home against Victoria United at Kings Park at noon Sunday. With Victoria United battling for the fourth and final playoff spot, Araujo expects a hungry team. They have made the playoffs, but the Pinnacles are playing to finish either second or third.
“My focus on Sunday is really to experiment a little bit more,” he said. “Just to kind of start preparing for playoffs and try some new things. Give the younger players a bit more playing time.”
It’s do or die for the Pinnacles under-21 women’s squad Saturday at 6 p.m. at Kings Park. Lost points earlier in the season could be what costs the team a playoff spot. After rolling over TSS Academy Red 7-0 on July 13, the Pinnacles lost 2-1 to TSS Academy Black. One of the goals they scored themselves on a corner kick.
“We should have at least got a tie against the Black team,” said Pinnacles coach Ray Hintz, adding that his team had a goal waived off.
The lone goal for the Pinnacles was scored by Carolyn Johnson.
“The effort was awesome,” said Hintz. “We deserved better than what we got there. Unfortunately it’s maybe gonna cost us down the road.”
In the win, Anika Nystrom led with a five-goal effort. For the Pinnacles to make the playoffs, they need Kelowna United to lose and West Vancouver FC to not get points in their remaining two games.