Morning Star Staff
Vernon Big O Tire-Turn-Key Ogopogos bounced Australia’s Barbarians 2-1 in their Thursday soccer opener at the 2013 World Masters Games in Torino, Italy.
The Ogopogos picked up several guest players from around the globe to fill their roster, and two of them found the net against the Aussies.
Alan Blatler from Gibsons scored on a free kick from outside the 18 to level the score at 1-1 before the first half.
“While the Aussies were arguing about the call, Alan took advantage of the unprepared keeper and put it high in the top corner from outside the 18,” said Ogopogos’ playing-coach Kerry Zubot.
Blatler fed Gary Beckett of Australia, who beat the last defender, and from a tight angle on the left side, pushed the ball past the keeper.
Striker Mark Wasylyk had several scoring attempts, while Jim Sparrow, in center midfield, created several stellar plays. Dave Hampton and Zubot were solid on defence.
In Masters women’s play in Italy, North Okanagan United 2-1 to Calgary Canadian Ice before clipping Sol Cal (South California) 2-1 in Friday action.
Player of the Match Wendy Stevens, unselfishly passed the ball in front of an open net to Dawn Lemiski for NOU’s goal against Calgary. Darlene Wiese made several clutch saves in net.
Under the lights and battling Italian mosquitos, NOU defeated Sol Cal with center half Andrea Zubot feeding Italian pick-up Federica Tamagnini, who carried it outside to about 25 yards and rifled a beauty over everyone’s head top corner.
Just 15 minutes later, Tamagnini crossed to Kim Reid, who took a touch and buried a blast for a 2-0 lead at the half.
An unfortunate hand ball in the NOU box resulted in a goal for California from a penalty kick and a yellow card for Edmonton pick-up Carol O’Kell, who was stellar in net.
Velvet Beaumont at stopper andfeisty Kim Cooper on defence were tireless and fearless.
“NOU played defensively as California pushed hard as they pulled their effective sweeper to get more offence,” said Andrea Zubot of NOU. “Edeen Ramsey’s speed on outside half created many opportunities and excitement for NOU.”
The Vernon Controllers opened women’s play with a 4-1 loss to the Fraser Valley.
Meanwhile, Sunterra Sistas came ready to play in the heat Thursday night with light new jerseys courtesy of Okanagan T-Shirt Company, and found rain and heavy winds instead.
Despite the inclement weather, the Sistas toppled the OMG Chick Kickers 3-1 in Division 2 women’s play at Marshall Field #4.
Sarah Ehman opened the 10-1-1 Sunterra offence on a breakaway run from the outside left.
The Chick kickers used strong midfield play to give their forwards several chances to run the ball into the Sistas’ dynamic defence.
Marisa Weibe, Cassandra Otto, Nicole Williams, Miranda Dalhusien, Amy Fitchett, Chrissy Kieneker and Dalvir Nahal kept the Kickers away from the 18-yard line.
Otto, taking her time at midfield, dropped a beauty ball right down the centre of the field right in front of Deanna Baker, who then chipped it over keeper Wendy Nadeau.
Play went back and forth before Baker passed to Kim Sylvester, who drawing out Nadeau, then dished to Tania Wirachowsky, who converted with finesse.
Cara Main countered late for the 6-6 Kickers with a much deserved goal after many long runs up the left side.
Solid defensive efforts for the Kickers were turned in by Jenelle Woods, Nadine Danyluk and Char Johnson.
In other Division 2 play Thursday night, the Green Rockets zapped Capri Insurance 4-0 at Marshall #2.
Rachel Cross stopped everything her way for the clean sheets.
Leah Willinger riverdanced her way to a hat-trick, while Natalie Forster supplied a single.