The second part of the Vernon United U18 girls Euro team’s tour saw them enjoy Germany.
After watching Japan defeat Sweden 3-1 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal, the team visited Heidelberg Thursday, July 14 and then played their first game in Germany that night.
The opponents were TSV Amicita Viernheim and the result was a very entertaining 4-4 tie.
Breanna Irvine opened the scoring 10 minutes in from a nice feed from Holly Ketter. Amicita tied it up seven minutes later.
Ashley Krause scored from 10 yards out after a nice pass from Sachiko Ouchi. Amicita tied it up again a few moments later, but Ketter gave the Canadians a 3-2 halftime lead after some nifty passing from Kirsty Lewis and Lindsey Krause.
The Germans scored twice in the opening 25 minutes of the second half to take a 4-3 lead, but with eight minutes remaining, keeper Aynsley Orobko punted the ball downfield and Ashley Krause tied it up on a breakaway for her second goal of the game.
“A barbecue followed at the team’s clubhouse where it was later learned that a member of the Amicita team is also on Germany’s National Women’s Hockey team,” said Vernon head coach Ron Krause.
On the Friday, the team took in Europa Park and then some tenpin bowling that night with the Amicita team as many friendships were made.
On Saturday, the team went back to Heidelberg and toured the Heidelberg Castle and Student Prison. The evening saw them play their final international match against FC Starkenburgia.
Ashley Krause opened the scoring 12 minutes in after a pass from Ketter. After Starkenburgia tied it up, Ouchi blasted a volley into the top right corner. The fans agreed that the next two German goals were offside but United found themselves down 3-2 at the half.
Ketter hit the post between two quick Starkenburgia goals and suddenly the score was 5-2. Ashley Krause scored her fifth goal of the tour by scoring with three minutes remaining as she drove a shot into the top left corner from 20 yards out to make the final 5-3.
“Starkenburgia’s star forward, who is only 14 years old, but plays on the U16 German National team, gave Cayla Brown, Katie Annand, Katelyn Dyck and Kirsty Lewis fits on the back line with her skill and speed,” said coach Krause.
On Sunday, the team spent touring the “Fan Mile” in Frankfurt before heading to Commerzbank Arena for the Women’s World Cup final.
“The atmosphere was electric and they were treated to a fantastic game as Japan defeated the U.S. in a penalty shootout after playing to a 2-2 overtime tie.
“The team was in awe of the closing ceremonies as the trip came to a close,” said Krause. “The team flew home on Monday and while at the Frankfurt airport, the U.S. women’s team showed up at an adjacent gate while United was waiting for their flight home, still feeling disappointed about losing, the Americans refused any photos with the Vernon team.
“The trip was the first of its kind for any local youth team and hopefully paves the way for more to occur. It is a trip that the girls and chaperones will remember forever.”
Earlier in the 12-day fantasty trip, the Vernon girls toured Liverpool, and followed that with a visit to historic Old Trafford, home of Manchester United.
The Euro girls raised $20,000 over two years – half the travel costs – by doing a number of fundraisers,
Marina Korberg, executive director of the North Okanagan Youth Soccer Association, praised Krause for guiding the girls.
“Ron popped by the office last week when he and the team returned from their European trip, and within 10 minutes of listening to the recap of games played, sights seen and the exhilaration of attending the Women’s World Cup final, you knew every bottle drive and sandbag had been worth the effort,” said Korberg.
“Kudos to Ron, a longtime NOYSA coach, who has worked hard to keep the players fit on the field and focused off the field to ensure that their trip was such a success. With this being his final year as the U18 coach, we at NOYSA will surely miss his dedication, enthusiasm and passion for the sport.”