Another year, another Gibson Cup for the North Enderby Timber.
NET capped a fabulous one-loss North Okanagan Soccer League season by grounding Vernon rival Turn-Key Controls 3-0 in the playoff final Wednesday night at Marshall Field #2.
The Timber claimed their 11th Gibson Cup and fourth in a row to go along with the league trophy they won three weeks prior.
NET opened the scoring in the 15th minute when 20-year veteran Graham Ross controlled the ball in the midfield and passed to Kyle Halvorson, who looked up and found a streaking Brent Poulsen with a through ball. Poulsen only took one left-footed touch to beat charging Turn-Key keeper Greg Douma.
With dark skies and lightning looming in the background, NET central midfielders Ross and Halvorson controlled possesion in the midfield keeping a 1-0 lead.
With only minutes before half-time, winger Evan Frederick made an 80-yard run down the sideline dancing in and out around defenders before being taken down inside the box. Ross stepped up and hammered in the penalty.
The wind picked up in the second half giving Turn-Key the advantage, but The Simplyfrugal.ca Man of the Match, central defender Chris Ovens, denied anything coming toward the Timber goal. Ovens came through mutiple challanges scaring the Controllers out of the area.
The stingy Timber back line of all-star sweeper Jesse Knight, Ovens, Adam Marwood, Andy Stein, and Devin Laughren gave Turn Key little to work with as they have all year, only allowing seven goals in 17 games.
Thomas Pool sparked the Turn-Key offence early in the half when he beat his defender and found a streaking Preston Tucker for a narrowly missed tap in after a great backcheck by a defender pushed it slightly above the crossbar.
Poulsen added his second of the match in the 75th minute, chesting down a Halvorson through ball that got caught in the wind perfectly to a left- footed volley which sailed through three sets of legs from 20 yards.
Victor Gouchee earned the clean sheet and the save of the game minutes later, denying Preston Tucker of a sure goal off a corner. Tucker showed why he was an All-Canadian UBCO volleyball phenom as he outleaped everyone on a header after an Evan Moore corner only to be denied by Gouchee, who came across fully outstretched for the diving save.
Both teams fought clean and hard with only one yellow card being issued in the 15th annual Gibson Cup.
Turn-Key finished third in the eight-team loop at 8-5-1. The Timber were 13-1. The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer team have opened the 2015-16 Canada West pre-season with a victory.
The WolfPack kicked off a three-game exhibition match series in Arizona on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds of Phoenix. TRU led 2-0 after the first half.
“We played well going forward,” said TRU head coach John Antulov. “ We had good possession. I substituted everyone. That resulted in some careless breakdowns but overall, a good result for our first game.”
Oriol Torres (Barcelona, Spain), fifth-year Corey Wallis (Enderby) and Colton Walker (Sicamous) had the goals for the WolfPack.
Keepers Travis Froehlich (Revelstoke) played the first half with Morgan Crandlemire (Salmon Arm) playing the second.
The WolfPack meet the Glendale Community College Vasqueros today and close things off against the Arizona Christian University Firestorm Saturday.
TRU hosts their own tourney beginning Aug. 20 versus the University of Northern B.C. Timberwolves (4 p.m.) at Hillside Stadium.
The WolfPack open the Canada West regular season Saturday, Sept. 12 at Hillside against the UBC Thunderbirds. Vernon’s Finley McPhie and Mike Bennett are sophomores with the WolfPack. Seb Gardner, a former WolfPack star, is an assistant coach.