United #2 won a thrilling 2-1 shootout over United #1 Sunday afternoon in the bronze-medal Under 11 Boys Rep match at the Lake Country Ice Breaker Soccer Tournament at sun-drenched Beasley Park.
United #1 – coached by Roy Cooper and Rick Raber – had rolled to an 8-0 victory over United #2 – coached by Kevin Mitchell – in preliminary action Saturday morning.
Finn Plummer – the 11th shooter – scored the winner when his low shot was tipped by a diving Daniel Smith and went in off the right post.
United #2 keeper Dylan Huber, who was stopped by Smith on the first attempt of the shootout, later blocked Braeden Cooper’s kick, the 12th and final attempt. Huber was United #2 player of the match, while Smith took honours for United #1.
Huber’s best save in the shootout came when he stymied Owen Miller, while Smith made a miraculous stop on a high, hard shot heading for the left corner by Nick Mitchell, in sudden-death kicks.
“The boys on both teams competed hard and demonstrated stellar skills all over the field,” said coach Mitchell. “They all work their butts off in practice twice a week and are showing solid improvement every game out.”
Perez Vermeulen scored two minutes into the bronze-medal match on a 15-yard blast for United #2 off a feed from Ben Purvis. United #1 equalized in the dying minutes when Noah Schneider buried a low, bouncing corner by Adam Raber.
Defender Zach Agar – player of the match for great hustle and marking on the back line – got his knee on a Purvis corner for United’s goal in their opening 4-1 loss to Kelowna #2 Friday morning.
United then bowed 3-1 to Kelowna #1 with Vermeulen heading in a Purvis corner and earning player of the match. Defender Kody Kongsdorf earned honourable mention for solid tackling.
Purvis – player of the match – scored twice, once off a nice feed by Chris Atkins and another on a 25-yard direct kick, as United shut down Nelson 4-0 Sunday morning to reach the bronze-medal match.
An own goal, put in by a Nelson defender after a booming corner by Purvis, and Leon Schenker on a top-shelf penalty kick, completed the Vernon offence. The kick was awarded after Mitchell’s header off a Purvis corner was touched by a Nelson defender. Huber and Mitchell shared the shutout, getting stellar defensive help from Aiden Rysen.
United #1 got two goals from speedy CJ Storey in an opening 2-1 win over Nelson. Steven Beneschek set up one of Storey’s goals.
Cooper and Miller each scored twice and had one assist as United #1 manhandled United #2 8-0 Saturday morning. Jarrod Latta, Brendan Yakura, Alex Oguunbiyi and slide-tackling wonder Seb Wenger added singles.
United #1 then bowed 2-1 to Kelowna #2 with Storey getting Vernon’s goal.
Oguunbiyi, from Cooper, handled United’s offence in a 1-1 draw with Kelowna #1.
Vernon United U13 Boys – coached by Joe Gourdine – went 1-3 in round-robin play and then fell 4-1 to Port Moody in the bronze-medal contest Sunday.
“All the boys stepped up their game on the showcase field for the bronze and we were up 1-0 at the half as Cole Benjaminsen used his speed and outran two defenders from about half to score early,” said Gourdine.
“Port Moody’s smooth one-touch passing and ball control proved too much. Bryn Bedard had a strong first game in net.”
Vernon opened with a 4-2 loss to Kelowna United and then beat Nelson Selects 3-0 Friday.
Midfielder Nick Klymchyk, on a penalty kick, and Billy Cawthorne, scored for Vernon, leading Kelowna 2-0 at the half.
“We got outworked and gave up too many shots in the second half. They battled back,” said Gourdine. “Justin Haverkamp stepped up his play and was MVP.”
Klymchyk converted another penalty kick, and Gage Kopp and scrappy Cawthorne bagged goals against Nelson. Kopp, on an absolute tear up the middle, pounded one top right from 25 yards. Klymchyk was MVP.
Port Moody one-touched the ball all over the field and used well-timed through balls to overcome Vernon 3-1. Klymchyk converted his third PK in as many games.
The Kamloops Blaze used the full width of the field and worked the through balls to win 4-1 in the fourth game. Mac Gourdine (MVP) played a strong game in the middle and went top left on a curler from 25 yards.
The Vernon United U16 girls were fit to be tied in the Ice Breaker.
They played to a 1-1 draw with Calgary on Friday morning, with Kate Alexander connecting in after some very hard work and fancy feet by Emily Thorlakson. Calgary equalized before the break.
Most of the second half was played in the Vernon end, giving superb keeper Candice Lipski and her defence lots of action. Kali Wells and Megan Prentice went hard all game.
In their second game Friday, United drew 1-1 with the Kamloops Blaze. Vernon’s goal came on a penalty kick from Marisa Berg. Kamloops scored in the second half.
Great showings were turned in by Janelle Cole, Megan Squair, and Isabelle Weber Concannon.
United finished play Saturday morning with a scoreless draw against Port Moody Nitro. Tessa Coulthard, Emma Tassie and Danika Damini enjoyed great games.