Two great teams battling hard for 70 minutes at sun-baked MacDonald Park. A dozen penalty shots with one clutch save by the Calgary Tsunami Blues’ keeper Lee Grieco-Savoy.
That’s how things went down in the Women’s 35+ Division final Monday afternoon of the 35th annual Vernon National Oldtimers Soccer Tournament.
The Blues edged defending champion Dr. Lee Dental of Vernon 2-1 (6-5) in a thrilling shootout to pocket the $500 purse. It was the Blues’ fourth title at the May long weekend extravaganza.
Grieco-Savoy went to her left and scooped up a low shot by Sarah Green before pumping her fist in celebration.
“She likes PKs, that’s her thing,” said Blues’ captain Jackie Hertlein.
Chrissy Nelson buried a 28-yard corker, top shelf, to give Calgary the lead 10 minutes into the first half. Dr. Lee equalized with two minutes left when Michelle Nelson converted from 15 yards after a nice feed by Paula Brownlee.
“It was a great final; both teams played hard and we had great refereeing (Andrea Dollinger) and the linesmen did a great job too,” said Vernon coach Akbal Mund.
The Blues missed the tournament last year, choosing to play younger teams in Penticton to prepare for the World Masters Games in Italy. They had four players from their gold-medal World Masters team in Vernon.
“This is a good confidence builder and allows us to get lots of touches and work on our team bonding before our outdoor season really gets going,” said Hertlein, a Calgary police officer. “We just finished indoor and played one outdoor game before we came to Vernon.”
Hertlein, who played university soccer in Florida, opened penalty kicks for Calgary by going high on keeper Lori Shippy.
Lisa Arrotta, who was in net during regulation time, responded with a high scorcher for Dr. Lee.
The teams went blast-for-blast with Michaela Jordan, Nelson and Helena Ogilvie connecting for Calgary and Deanna Baker, Delinah Erbinich and Irene Arrotta answering for Vernon.
Wendy Lumby, a former downhill skier who represented Great Britain in the 1988 Calgary Olympics, beat Shippy off the left post as Calgary’s fifth shooter. Barb Levesque responded for Dr. Lee.
Vernon guest player Tori Feser, a winger, stepped up and beat Shippy with a rolling ball to the left corner, for what proved to be the winner.
Both teams sleepwalked through preliminary play at 3-0. Calgary posted lopsided wins over CWSC Banyana Banyana of Calgary, and Westside FC and MetroFord Celtics, both of Vancouver.
Dr. Lee, who earned $300, iced the Coquitlam Stingers, The Leftovers of Calgary and the Jaguars Alumni. The Best Amigas of Kamloops took third place for $200. There was a field of 12.
In the Women’s 45+ Division final, B.C. United of Salmon Arm/Vernon/Kelowna shut down Port Coquitlam 3-0 in Monday morning’s final.
Derri-Ann Cooper (Vernon) recorded the shutout as United topped the six-team category.
United earlier grounded the Scottish Classics of Edmonton 4-0, ambushed Calgary Extreme 5-0 and tripped up the Calgary Fury 3-1.
Suzie Andrews, Jodi Hawthorne, Dawn Lemiski and Stacey Cover also represented Vernon with United.
“We were coached brilliantly by B.C. United’s Turin World Masters coach Irene Cultum,” said Andrews. “I thought our MVPs for the tournament were Yvonne Rogers (Kelowna) and Kim Turner (Salmon Arm).”