Leah Willinger of VQA challenges Paula Brownlee of Dr.Lee Dental for the ball in North Okanagan Women’s Soccer Association Masters Division play Tuesday night at Grahame Park. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Floss crew brush off VQA

Dr. Lee Dental Centre grounded Vernon VQA 6-1 in North Okanagan Women’s SoccerMasters Division play

Dr. Lee Dental Centre grounded Vernon Liquor Store VQA 6-1 in North Okanagan Women’s Soccer Masters Division play Tuesday night at Grahame Park.

It was the first game for both teams after a long layoff due to smoky skies from wildfires in the region.

Play went back and forth until Ginger Nickoli scored for VQA in the 15th minute after a long free kick from Leah Willinger up to Carly Bibby on the left flank to Carla Gibson on the other side and then to Nickoli in the middle for the hard blast.

The Floss crew quickly levelled the score when Jacquie Hansen fed a sweet through ball to Delinah Erbenich, who outran the whole defensive line and tucked the ball into the far corner of the net past Sue Barss.

Then it was a great passing play from Paula Brownlee to Erbenich to Hansen who sprinted past the last defender to put Dr. Lee Dental ahead 2-1. The half ended 3-1 for the Floss crew on the goal of the year by Jennie Currie – taking a drop pass just outside the 18-yard area from Erbenich and blasting a corker top cheddar. The play all started with a great cross from Barb Levesque.

The second half started with the ball going both ways but with the Floss crew controlling most of the play. Irene Arrotta made it 4-1, taking a drop pass from Deanna Baker and striking a ball top shelf.

Julie Bolin took a pass from Erbenich to make it 5-1. Erbenich then took on defender Ginger Nickoli of VQA – the two going head to head in a sprint to the net with Erbenich burying a shot.

The Shuswap Merlot clipped the Vernon Controllers 2-1 in make-up action in Salmon Arm.

The Merlot opened the scoring near the 20th minute with the Controllers responding right before the recess when outside mid Elena Sookarow unleashed a hard shot on a lovely pass from Christyna Whieldon. Sookarow’s shot bounced off the cross bar and a Merlot defender accidentally knocked the rebound in trying to clear the ball off the end line.

The game was fairly even all match. Angela Durfeld, Tara Murray, Jacquie Nuyens, Laura Champigny and Jody Peshko all created lovely passes up the field and had several scoring opportunities. The Controllers hit the crossbar twice and the right post once.

Maritza McLeod was a maniac on defence shutting down several of Merlot’s fast breaks and Whieldon was solid as a stopper and had a few hard shots on net from outside the 18.

Keeper Michelle Embleton was stellar and worked well with her sweeper, Michelle Wernicke, to stop several wicked shots.

The Merlot registered the winner midway through the second half. Most Sportsmanlike honours went to Wernicke and Suzanne Haskell for Merlot.