Keeper Marina Dempsey was magic as Vernon United bounced the Kamloops Blaze 1-0 Sunday at McArthur Island Sports Centre.
United, who improved to 2-1 in the Thompson Okanagan Under 14 Rep Girls Soccer League, got their goal from Abbey Hughes during a chaotic scramble in front of the Blaze net.
“Marina played an amazing game, stopping many Kamloops chances,” said United coach Michelle Hughes. “It was her best game of the season so far.”
Props also went to the back line of MaKenna McWillis, Madison Catt, April Fletcher, Emily Clarke and Madison Findlay-Proctor. Forwards Cayleigh Graham, Ailish Curran and Emma Nesbitt also turned in superb showings.
The U15 girls won their second straight, 3-0 over the host Penticton Pinnacles Sunday at Kings Park.
Reyhanna Akkurt outraced the Penticton keeper for a through ball by Kara Ross for United’s opening strike. Akkurt danced around two defenders for the 2-0 goal before the half, while Emilee Kronbauer connected off a scramble to complete the scoring.
Kate Healy was a huge force as she led several explosive pushes upfield.
In U16 girls play, Vernon bowed 3-2 to the Pinnacles at Kings Park.
Teigan Moore and Hannah Love handled the Vernon offence after United fell behind 3-0 at the half. Strong wing play came from Riley Martian, and Love showed great determination.
The Vernon U13 girls shaded host Kamloops 2-1 to stay undefeated at 2-0-1. Alyssa Racine and Macey Christensen pocketed the goals.
“The girls came out strong in the second half, playing nice soccer and creating a number of good scoring opportunities,” said Al Gee, tri-coach with Ley Christensen and Rick Latta.
Stellar play was supplied by Maddy Smith and Lydia Lavigne at centre back, while midfielders Maja Splawinski and Alexandra Lockwood enjoyed clutch two-way games.
Paige Latta was potent down the right flank.
United U12 #2 girls team won their first game of the day 5-2 over Penticton and then lost 5-3 to Kamloops Blaze White Sunday in Kelowna.
Keen team work resulted in goals from Elena Gaskell (2), Kelsey Falk, Lynley Gordon-Mason and Olivia McLennan. Emily Sorochuck and McLennan shared goal keeping duties.
Kamloops applied consistent pressure in Game 2, forcing keepers Jayden Strachan and Sorochuck to register several outstanding saves.
Hannah Miller and McLennan converted on a couple of corkers and Nadia Smith lobbed a shot over the Kamloops’ keeper for United’s goals.
“It was a great effort today. I am very pleased with how we are playing as a team,” said United coach Carl McLennan.
United U11 #2 girls split their games with Kelowna and Kamloops at Marshall Field, falling 4-1 to the Blaze (goal by Taylor Francks) and upending Kelowna 2-0 (goals by Lanaya Bandy and Francks).
Firm defence, particularly by Ky Richardson and Levi Knopf, backed up by effective goalkeeping from Kaia Barker and Emma Lochead, kept Kelowna scoreless.
United U11 #1 girls swept their Sunday series, grounding Penticton 4-1 and bouncing Kamloops Blaze Black 2-1.
Janelle Barnett opened the scoring in Game 1 by burying a low shot on an early breakaway. Megan Claeys then clicked off a rebound from a Kate Earle free kick. Anne Cherkowski hit the top right corner with a blast after beating two players to make it 3-0.
Barnett finished the scoring on a late breakaway. Callie Bertram made a pure outlet pass to Keaira Korberg, who took one touch and fed Barnett. Kenzie Koshure and Keeley Tiesen shut down Penticton’s forwards.
In Game 2, Elena Friesen took a pass from Claeys down the right side and put it low, near corner to jumpstart United. Emily Boden stripped a defender, took the ball down the left side and fed Barnett, who cranked it for a 2-0 lead. Carly Larsen played ruthless defence and Rane Smith was a tireless worker in the midfield. Emma Eggert was glorious all game playing several different positions. Summer Crosby recorded some regal saves to pocket both wins.
“The girls showed great improvement this week,” said coach Mike Bertram. “They worked together as a team more and had excellent passing to open up space on the field. They are making the field small when the opposition has the ball and making space on offence. The defence has only allowed four goals over four games and the girls are playing smart, tough soccer.”
U13 boys tie Pinnacles
The United U13 boys played Penticton to a scoreless draw Sunday at Marshall #5.
Vernon keeper Micah Martens didn’t have a lot of action but controlled anything that came his way. Forwards Chris Atkins, Mica Burns, Kazuki Comley, Adam Murdock, CJ Storey and Perez Vermeulen all enjoyed scoring chances. Murdoch took a ball in the face for the team which resulted in a bloodied mouth, but he kept running hard.
Midfielders Joe Eggert, Ben Purvis, Braeden Cooper, Daniel Paskiewich, Bryce Turner and Noah Schneider moved the ball well as Vernon kept the Pinnacles hemmed in for the majority of play.
The back line of Trent Graham, Kody Kongsdorf, Adam Raber, Jarrod Latta and Dylan Huber sparkled. Roy Cooper’s crew is 1-0-1.
In boys U14 action on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Marshall Field #5, Vernon battled Penticton a 1-1 tie.
Vernon gained control early and in the 15th minute, a Penticton clearing attempt landed at Shey Townley’s feet well outside the 18, and with no one to challenge, he unleashed a boomer that fooled the keeper.
Vernon kept pressing but could not another goal. That came back to haunt Vernon early in the second half as Penticton finally got the break they needed and converted.
United’s best chance to go ahead came off a left corner which saw Kevin Thibault’s shot denied by the outstretched leg of the keeper.
Vernon also had a couple free kicks from within range but Malcolm Wiens shot wide and Owen Burnet could not beat the defensive wall.
The back end played extremely well, led by Reed Cashato and captain Sam Eggert. Townley and Charis Ondrik were masterful up front, while hustle and hard work from Elias Jensen created some great free kick opportunities in the second half.
Gavin Mason and Wiens had strong games in the midfield and got some great support on the wings from Wyatt Carter, Connor Johnston and Cameron MacKenzie.
Burnet, Peter Hirschkorn and Connor London also had mighty games on defence in support of a sharp Connor Holliday as United went to 1-0-1.
“We played well, but missed a chance to collect all three points,” said Vernon coach Rolf Hirschkorn. However, on the bright side, last year we lost 7-2 and 5-2 to Penticton and today we served notice to them and the league that we’ll be far more competitive this year.”
The visiting United U17 boys lost 3-0 to the Penticton U18s Sunday, giving ip two goals on penalty kicks.
Lucas Ross played a worthy midfield game as did the offensive trio of Liam Eddy, Dylan Towns and Nate Gatenby. United is 1-2.
In EA Sports B.C. Premier League U13 boys play, the Thomopson Okanagan FC allowed two goals in the first 12 minutes and lost 4-0 to the Coastal Selects Saturday at MacDonald Park.
The Thompson Okanagan coaching staff said the early loss of centreback Ryan Hoogveld did not help, but they praised the work of Vernon’s Owen Miller for holding the TOFC defence together.
Miller had the best shot in the game for TOFC when his 25-yard direct free kick hit the Coastal cross bar with their keeper well beaten. Finn Plummer is the only other Vernon player on the TOFC roster.