Okanagan FC forward Darrell Plantz holds off opposing team defenders at Kelowna’s Apple Bowl in June. (One10 Photography)

Ousted at league playoffs, Okanagan FC reflect on season’s end

OKFC lost 2-1 in the knockout playoff game against the leagues’s top team

It wasn’t the Cinderella story ending Okanagan FC were hoping for in this year’s Pacific Coast Soccer League playoffs.

OKFC were barely bested by the league’s top team in a 2-1 loss on July 27, ultimately ending their season.

The Kelowna squad came into the playoffs as the fourth seed, tasked with a tough initial matchup against the hometown team Victoria Highlanders, who lost only one game at home all season and outscored opponents 40 to 13 all year.

OKFC held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first half, before Victoria netted two goals in two minutes in the second half.

Despite the loss, OKFC held their heads high.

“Couldn’t be more proud of the guys and their effort,” said coach Andrew Stevenson.

“Victoria is a different beast on their home field, and we got so close to causing a big upset.

”It makes the result a bit more bitter to know we were that close, but we’re proud to finish fourth after giving Victoria a really good go.”

READ MORE: Okanagan Dream Rally looks to hit over $1M in funding this year

A mental lapse in concentration for only two minutes was enough for Victoria to snatch the lead away from OKFC in the opening minutes of the second half.

Okanagan FC pressed hard in the final minutes down only a goal, but were unable get another against the hometown team.

“When you play the genuine top players on the top teams, two minutes is enough to seal a game. We collapsed for two minutes and they have the quality players that can capitalize on that,” said Stevenson.

READ MORE: Future unknown for Kelowna seniors’ activity centre

Almost 30 players made an appearance for OKFC throughout the year due to injuries to the roster.

Balancing a large group of players and their injuries all the while finishing fourth in the league was a challenge for the first-year coach.

“If you had told me in my first season I’d be dealing with an injury list of 16 to 18 players, I’d have laughed at you,” Stevenson said.

“But how adaptive we were in bringing guys in and out was really impressive. If we didn’t have a deep group that really believed in what we were about, we wouldn’t have done as well as we did.

“All our players really played well this year.”

Injuries aside, the Kelowna team advanced to the playoffs in their first year in the PCSL.

Now, the program will take a few weeks of off-time before prepping for next season and taking the time to appreciate the team and the fans that embraced the return of high-level soccer in Kelowna.

“I want to thank everybody that came out and adopted Okanagan FC as their home team this season, the players loved it,” said Stevenson.

“Our challenge next year will be to develop our fan culture and experience, we want to make the fans as much a part of the team as our players.

“We’re excited for what 2020 will bring and next year, we won’t be as happy with a fourth place finish.”

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Perfect storm’ causes influx of black widows in the Okanagan

The region’s only venomous spider has come out in full force this year

Stanley Cup within Vernon man’s reach

Dennis Holland has spent the past 18 years scouting for the Dallas Stars, seeking his first Cup ring

Spotlight on Syilx culture in new Vernon Winter Carnival project

Grant funds launch new project, provides skills training for Indigenous youth

Suspected human remains found in burned out vehicle on OKIB land

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP hand over investigation to Major Crimes

Fuel Good Day pumps up North Okanagan-Shuswap charities

Cheques for more than $2,500 handed over to three organizations in annual fundraiser

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Kamloops RCMP search for armed robber of pizza restaurant

The incident unfolded on Monday evening at the Sahali Domino’s store

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Trial underway for Kamloops man charged with kidnapping

Michael Mathieson is charged with armed robbery, unlawful confinement and kidnapping

Kootnekoff: Employment standards variances in Alberta

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Most Read