Six South Okanagan Youth Soccer Association Pinnacles FC teams will be vying for a provincial championship.
The under-13 girls’ team coached by Duarte Francisco earned its berth when they defeated Kelowna United, the only team that beat them this season, for the Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League championship. Sara Vriends scored the late tally with five minutes remaining. Francisco said it was fitting for them to face Kelowna United in the Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League final.
“We were playing for bragging rights and seeding position,” said Francisco. “We wanted to finish high. It was a hard game. The most physical game we’ve had all year.”
A 3-1 victory against Kelowna United gave the under-13 boys’ team its provincial berth. And they did it in dramatic fashion. Trailing 1-0 with five minutes left, Shane Farkas netted the equalizer. Then during the two 10-minute overtime sessions they played, Dominique Claus and Simon Snyman put the game away.
“They boys were ecstatic,” said Pinnacles FC coach Joe Afonso, whose team will travel to Aldergrove for the July 4 to 7 tournament. “It’s very exciting. Parents were ecstatic. We got 10 wins out of 11. Play as a team and believe in each other, you can succeed. I think the calibre is going to be pretty intense.”
After defeating the Kamloops Blaze in their opening game, the under-14 boys shutout Kelowna United 1-0 in the final. Coach Tony Trovao described the match as a “hard-fought battle.”
“The kids just played unbelievable,” said Trovao. “Worked for every ball. They (Kelowna) were the top team in league.”
Trovao said he couldn’t have asked for more from his players who moved the ball well and kept it on the ground. They played a smart game and didn’t overcommit. They will travel to Aldergrove as well.
“I think they have potential,” said Trovao. “There will be some stiff competition. Have as good a shot as anyone else. Very proud of the boys in how they came out and played.”
Scoring for the Pinnacles were Jetson Gibbs and Darian Johnson. Brady Van Ryswyk made three or four key saves in both games. “If it wasn’t for his play I’m not sure if we would have done it,” said Trovao.
A 4-0 victory against the Shuswap for the under-16 girls helped them advance to provincials. They received a strong performance from Lina Campagnaro, who scored twice. On Saturday night, the team found out that the Okanagan has two berths in that age group so they automatically advanced to provincials. They faced provincial host Kelowna United in the final, but lost 1-0.
“I don’t think my girls were up for it,” said Pinnacles FC coach Derrick Webb. “We didn’t play badly. It just wasn’t one of their better games.”
Webb said they will face a tough draw with Chilliwack United in their pool and North Coast team. Advancing to provincials has been their goal all season. Webb remains confident in what they can do.
Goals by Kari Grace Pym helped the under-17 girls’ Pinnacles FC team advance to provincials. With them and Vernon United making up that age group, Pinnacles FC earned their sole win when they needed it most. Coach Adam Vallis said his players played a good possession game that helped them get the “result they deserve.”