Under-16 girls team find way on pitch

The Pinnacles FC under-16 girls look to improve this weekend in Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League action as they face Salmon Arm.

JENNA LABOSSIERE of the Kelowna under-16 girls team looks to take the ball way from Pinnacles FC Jordyn Kowalchuk during a 3-1 Kelowna win.

JENNA LABOSSIERE of the Kelowna under-16 girls team looks to take the ball way from Pinnacles FC Jordyn Kowalchuk during a 3-1 Kelowna win.

The Pinnacles FC under-16 girls look to improve this weekend in Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League action as they face Salmon Arm.

Carlos Mendonca’s squad lost to Kelowna United (4-0-0) last weekend 3-1. While his team was competitive, Mendonca said it took his players time to adjust to the turf. He didn’t take anything away from Kelowna saying they are a good team. The Pinnacles FC lone goal came from Taylor Corrie, who converted a penalty shot.

“In the second half we pressed them quite well,” said Mendonca. “We had a lot of chances. Played a stronger second half. We just couldn’t score and they were able to get another goal.”

With one win in four games, Mendonca said his group is off to a slow start, but believe they can contend to go to provincials. The group is focused to continue working on their game that includes lots of possession.

“It’s starting to come around,” he said. “I think the second half of the season is going to improve.”

In playing Salmon Arm (Shuswap), Mendonca anticipates a physical battle that will require them to win the one-on-one battles.

“We have to be prepared to bang shoulders,” he said. “String five or six passes and open up lanes to get a quality chance on net.”

The Pinnacles FC under-12 girls are working hard, said coach Ted Boerner. Still looking for their first win, the team came up short against Vernon in a 2-1 loss. Andy Main scored the lone goal. The team also dropped a 3-2 decision to Kelowna Red. Main and Olivia St. Hilaire scored for the Pinnacles. This Sunday they play the Shuswap on the road.

The under-13 boys have one win, one loss and two ties. They earned their lone win by giving the Shuswap an 8-0 beating. In their last game, Pinnacles FC earned a 2-2 draw. Nash Moog scored twice, once in the last minute of the first half and in the last 30 seconds of the game. They are second behind Kamloops, who they play next on May 12.

“The team is playing very well and continues to work hard and generate offence,” said coach Mike Barron. “The team is also playing an attractive brand of possession football that is great to watch.”

The under-14 girls are 2-1-2 this season, good for third place. Against Vernon, they finished 2-2 with Netia Page scoring both goals. Coach Duarte Francisco said his group is stronger than last year’s team, that went to provincials.

“Overall, I think we have more balance. I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

The under-15 boys team earned a 1-1 draw against Kelowna Wednesday night, giving them a 2-2-2 record. Coach Adam Vallis described it as a tough game for his players, who appeared tired and never got going.

“We still had the majority of possession throughout the game, the boys dug deep and our constant pressure finally paid off when Rylan Vandermeulen converted a penalty 10 minutes from the end to share the points,” said Vallis.

“It’s nice to know we can grind out a result even when we are not at our best.”

The under-17/18 girls team has one win in five games in a three-team league. They lost 1-0 to Kamloops that had them hit the cross bar three times and the post twice. A penalty shot late in the game was disallowed because it was taken incorrectly. Coach Derrick Webb said his team generated numerous chances. Their lone win was 4-0 against Kelowna. Emily Jones scored three.

The under-17/18 boys opened the season with a 3-0 win over Vernon United and earned a 2-2 draw with the Shuswap Selects. Scoring for the Pinnacles were Bret Depner with two, Dylan Crawford, Noah Eaton and Charles Nyarza with one. The team also picked up a 2-1 win over the Kamloops Blaze on April 28. They are 2-0-1 on the season. The team heads to Salmon Arm this weekend to face the Selects. They will be without Xavier Araujo, Bret Depner, James Fraser and Dan Thornton who have been called up to play with the Pinnacles FC under-21 team this weekend on their Island road trip.