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Lions drink from Slurpee Cup

The Vernon Silver Star Mountain Lions captured their third Under 12 boys soccer tournament title in as many tries, winning the 33rd annual Slurpee Cup Sunday afternoon on McArthur Island in Kamloops.

The Lions’ quest began with a 2-0 win over Whistler Avalanche Saturday.

Kevin Thibault opened the scoring just five minutes in, tucking away a Malcolm Wiens cross.

After some end-to-end action, Vernon sealed the deal with eight minutes left when Wiens (Game MVP) slotted home a Mees Geelkerken through ball.

Charis Ondrik and Morgan Nichols shared the shut out.

“We pressed and controlled a lot of the game and were rewarded in the end,” said Vernon coach Rob Eggert.

Saturday afternoon, Vernon downed Calgary Memorial United 5-1.

Elias Jensen opened the scoring at the 10-minute mark, collecting a Wiens cross in the 18 and then beating the United goalie to the right.

Wiens fired a pair of goals to make it 3-0 before halftime, but Calgary replied early in the second half with a strike just under the crossbar.

Nichols came up with a huge stop on a penalty shot to preserve Venron’s two-goal cushion.

A pair of goals by Game MVP Geelkerken, the first off a nice volley just outside the six-yard box, sealed the win.

“The Kamloops coach had informed us that United had a very skilled right midfielder, but our left mids (Stewart Wilson and Langdon Kersey) and defenders (Peter Hirschkorn and Wyatt Carter) did an excellent job of taking him out the game,” said Vernon coach Rolf Hirschkorn.

The Lions only needed a tie to advance to the A final, and that’s what they got in a 0-0 draw against Kamloops Blaze #2.

Nichols, who shared the shutout with Ondrik, was named Game MVP for his outstanding play.

The Lions rallied for a 2-1 win over the Calgary Foothills Titans to earn the Slurpee Cup.

After a scoreless first half, the Titans broke the deadlock with a converted a corner kick with 10 minutes left.

Undeterred, Vernon equalized when Reed Cashato streaked down the right side and found Geelkerken just inside the box. After his initial shot was blocked, Geelkerken collected the rebound and sent in a left-footed rocket into the back of the net.

Six minutes later, Wiens corralled a monster Ondrik goal kick just past midfield. He then fended off a Titan defender and drove home the winner low to the left. Carter was awarded the game MVP.

“The boys showed great character,” said coach Hirschkorn. “It would have been easy for them to fold after being down 1-0, but they’ve showed us lately that they won’t be intimidated by anyone, or give up.”

In U13 Slurpee Cup action, Vernon United opened the tourney with a 2-0 loss to the Prince George Kodiaks.

In a tightly called match, Prince George netted an early goal and then finished Vernon off with a late strike.

Aidan Weber Concannon played a strong game on defence, Mac Gourdine patrolled the midfield with some hard running and crisp passing and goalie Austin White took Game MVP.

Vernon’s Saturday afternoon match saw United overwhelm the Quesnel Strikers 3-1.

United out shot Quesnel 17-1 in the first half but Gourdine (Game MVP), on a solid strike from 18 yards out, was the only player to find the net.

United continued pressing the tempo in the second half and their hard work paid off with a set piece from 25 yards out. Nick Klymchyk delivered a perfect free kick to the head of Bryn Bedard, who flicked it on just under the crossbar.

Cole Benjaminsen made it 3-0 on a nice half-volley before the Strikers broke the shutout late in the game on a counterattack.

Vernon trounced 100 Mile House Storm 8-0 Sunday.

United dominated the Storm for the entire game, getting offence from Bedard (2), Klymchyck, Gage Kopp, Benjaminsen, Gourdine, Justin Haverkamp (Game MVP) and Dane Carriere.

Vernon’s final match saw them drop a seesaw battle with the Whalley Whitecaps 1-0 to finish third in their division.

Defenders Troy Atkinson, Daniel Aspenlieder and Logan Imrich had strong games. White took his second Man of the Match honors.

In the U12 division, Vernon United #2 went 2-1 in Kamloops, starting with a 4-0 shutout of the Williams Lake Storm #2.

Ashley Glinsbockel, assisted by Lexi Jones and Ailish Curran, Emma Nesbitt, from Sam Head and Glinsbockel, Alex Drury, unassisted, and Curran, off a corner kick, handled Vernon’s scoring.

Madison Catt earned the shutout, and Glinsbockel was Game MVP.

Drury fired a pair of goals and earned Game MVP as Vernon thumped the Quesnel Strikers 5-0 in their second game.

Other offence came from Nesbitt, assisted by Glinsbockel, and two more unassisted markers by Glinsbockel.

Curran (Game MVP) collected Vernon’s lone goal as United fell 2-1 to the Kamloops Blaze.

Despite a solid effort and unyielding pressure, Vernon bowed 2-0 to Kamloops in a rematch in the final.

Glinsbockel was named Game MVP.

Vernon United #1 went 2-1-1 in U12 Slurpee Cup play last weekend.

Caleb Pope earned the win as Vernon brushed back the Williams Lake Storm 3-1 Saturday.

Cayleigh Graham and Game MVP Andie Kaneda scored off penalty kicks.

Saige Woodliffe and Graham handled the scoring and Kendra Ostaphie posted the shutout in a 2-0 win over the Prince George Kodiaks later that day.

Abbey Hughes was named Game MVP.

Kaneda earned United’s lone goal and Woodliffe took Game MVP in a 1-1 tie with the Nanaimo Emeralds.

Vernon fell 2-0 to Kamloops #1 in the gold-medal game.