Teams vie to hold onto provincial titles

The U14 Penticton Pinnacles are now in a tough spot to defend their provincial championship this weekend after losing their opening match against Vernon on Thursday.

Aman Rai of the Penticton Pinnacles (right) and Jorden Dewing of Vernon United battle for ball control at midfield during Boys U14 opening round action at Kings Park in the Youth Provincial B Cup tournament. Vernon won the game 3-2 and the tournament continues through Sunday.

Aman Rai of the Penticton Pinnacles (right) and Jorden Dewing of Vernon United battle for ball control at midfield during Boys U14 opening round action at Kings Park in the Youth Provincial B Cup tournament. Vernon won the game 3-2 and the tournament continues through Sunday.

The U14 Penticton Pinnacles are now in a tough spot to defend their provincial championship this weekend after losing their opening match against Vernon on Thursday.

With goals from Kyle Van Camp, Colton Kohlhauser and Gabriel Girard, the Pinnacles could not get the victory losing 4-3 to Vernon at the Provincial B Cup championships being hosted in Penticton this weekend.

“Vernon scored a goal in basically added time, which was a bit dubious,” said Pinnacles coach Sam Wingham. “But we kept the ball and passed it around well. We had lots of shots, good tackles and lots of energy. There were three mistakes at the back and that is going to happen.”

The team has undergone a lot of change since last season said Wingham, including the loss of their centreback. They also added younger players from the year below and picked up two players from Keremeos to bolster the team.

“If you lose someone from the back that is strong, you have to change the shape and you have to work on changing the tactics. It has to be completely different,” said Wingham. “As a team we are dealing with smaller, younger players so its more character building and sportsmanship. We are playing against bigger lads here, so give them a year or two when they catch up and you will see the benefits.”

Among the 64 teams playing this weekend, the Penticton U16 and U18 girls are also defending their championships from last year.

The Vancouver Whitecaps women’s team will take the field at 7 p.m. Saturday at Kings Park to play the Santa Clarita Blue Heat as part of the Caps initiative to bring their games to other communities.

The Whitecaps are up three points for top spot on the Blue Heat (who have two games at hand) in the United Soccer League Western Conference standings, so it is expected this will be a pivotal match for both teams. The last time these two teams played the Blue Heat won 5-2 on their home turf in California, snapping the Whitecaps regular season undefeated streak of 15 games.