Despite going undefeated in the regular season, the VSS Panthers will head to the Okanagan Valley Senior AA Boys Soccer Championships on a bit of a downer.
The Cats fell 2-0 to the Kalamalka Lakers in the North Zone final Thursday afternoon at MacDonald Park.
After a scoreless first half, and with VSS enjoying the bulk of possession, the Lakers opened the scoring two minutes into the second half after a corner kick.
“This is a tough pill to swallow. We beat this team both times during the league, only to loose in the playoff final,” said VSS head coach Klaus Gretzmacher.
“We were right on track during the first 35 minutes, but a few individual mistakes by our players decided this game
“We never recovered from their first goal and will have to work on our mental toughness if we want to have success at the Valley championships in Kamloops next weekend.”
Searching for the equalizer, the Cats’ opened up their defence to create more offensive pressure, and Kal capitalized again with 10 minutes remaining.
“This was a game with two completely different halves. First half, VSS played as always – their defensive 4-4-2 systems – and the defence block around central defender Ryan Baumbach played very strong and allowed only one shot on net which was stopped by goaltender Travis Barker,” said Gretzmacher.
The Panthers had three golden opportunities to score in the first half, but Adam Fenske (twice) and Jordan Davy either missed the target or were stopped by the outstanding Kal netminder.
Fenske found the top right corner from 22 metres out, but the referee called it off due to a previous handball by Cody Bisson earlier on the play.