Under-18 Pinnacles battle hard for draw

A short and injury riddled Pinnacles FC under-18 boys roster suffered a 6-0 loss to Shuswap May 5.

GILLIAN KENNEDY (left) of the Penticton Pinnacles FC under-16 team stretches to make a pass as teammate Antonia DePieri watches during action against the Shuswap Selects at Kings Park Sunday. Kennedy scored a goal in the second half to earn a 1-1 draw.

GILLIAN KENNEDY (left) of the Penticton Pinnacles FC under-16 team stretches to make a pass as teammate Antonia DePieri watches during action against the Shuswap Selects at Kings Park Sunday. Kennedy scored a goal in the second half to earn a 1-1 draw.

A short and injury riddled Pinnacles FC under-18 boys roster suffered a 6-0 loss to Shuswap May 5.

The Pinnacles were without Xavier Araujo, Bret Depner, James Fraser and Dan Thornton who were called up to the Pinnacles FC under-21 team in the Pacific Coast Soccer League. They were also without four players due to injury and another sick.  The Shuswap took advantage by blowing the game open during the final 18 minutes with four goals.

“All the boys came off exhausted having left everything on the field,” said coach Murali Venkataraman. “It was good experience for playing with a short or no bench. Playing disciplined, low pressure when defending, and patient possession when attacking as well as keeping composure when the game isn’t going your way.”

Venkataraman said the team executed low pressure perfectly for 57 minutes. Their strong play caused Shuswap to start turning on each other starting with the coach screaming at his back line. With the call-ups to the PCSL team, Venkataraman brought up three players from the under-16 team and they made valuable contributions.

“When all teams in the club train to play the same style of play, it is easy for players to go play on another team,” he said.

In other Pinnacles FC action, Gillian Kennedy scored the equalizer against the Shuswap in a 1-1 draw in under-16 girls division. Coach Carlos Mendonca said his team was unlucky not to get the three points. “They put a lot of pressure on the Shuswap defence,” said Mendonca. “After giving up an early goal, the Pinnacle girls controlled much of the play and had numerous chances on goal.”

The under-14 girls defeated the Kamloops Blaze Orange 4-1 on Sunday with Azayla Klippenstein scoring within the first two minutes.  In the second half, Celine Francisco, Lyndzie Caron and Sam Oliver added insurance goals. Jean Grakul and Ailie Hayman played solid on defence.

In Pacific Coast Soccer League action, the Pinnacles FC men’s under-21 team earned 0-0 and 1-1 draws against Victoria United and Mid Isle Highlanders, respectively. Scott Newlands, recruited from Nanaimo, scored the lone Pinnacles goal. Head coach Paulo Araujo was pleased with his players’ efforts during the weekend.

“We showed character,” said Araujo, adding that their roster will be finalized this week. “We are playing the football we want to teach to our youth.”

Araujo praised the efforts of call ups Xavier Araujo, Bret Depner, James Fraser and Dan Thornton.