Morning Star Staff
The North Okanagan Soccer League title won’t be decided until the final game of the regular season next Wednesday night.
All three teams battling for the crown posted lopsided victories Wednesday night, with Turn-Key Controls grounding Monashee Surveying 5-1 at Marshall Field #1 for their seventh straight win.
North Enderby Timber ambushed the Salmon Arm Outlaws 9-1 after stuffing the Outlaws 4-0 in a make-up game Monday, to take over sole possession of first place, while the Revelstoke Stallions stopped Concept Physio 5-0.
The Timber (12-3-2) can clinch the title Wednesday with a win over Davidson & Co. Dynamite. Turn-Key, who are one point back of NET, finishes against the ninth-place Outlaws.
The playoffs open Sunday, Aug. 19 and continue Wednesday, Aug. 22 and Sunday, Aug. 26 (final).
Turn-Key (12-4-1) used a big second half to defeat Monashee. The Controls squad opened the scoring early in the first half when Nolan’s Pharmasave Man of the Match Evan Moore buried a left-footed shot past keeper Ryan Sharp.
Turn-Key enjoyed numerous chances early on against the shorthanded Surveyors, but it was Monashee who equalized when Alberto Lopez picked off a duffer shot by keeper Jeremy Kler and chipped it into the net.
The second half saw Turn-Key use their youthful legs against the tiring Monashee squad, opening the scoring early when Andrew Pool overtook Preston Tucker for the team lead in goals, converting a pass from Taylor Horsting into the top corner.
Greg Niemantsverdriet put the Controllers up 3-1 with a well-placed strike from the 18-yard box after some great work from Marco Arnold on left wing.
The Turn-Key defence of Carson Haywood-Farmer, Bryce Paterson, Alex Nolan, Sean Bonnett, Tyler Flood and Sam Nolan were solid all night in front of Kler, and were rewarded with a goal when Sam Nolan streaked through the defence and drilled a world-class, left-footed strike into the top corner for his first goal of the season.
Arnold put Turn-Key up for good when he danced around Sharp and scored the fifth goal with little time remaining.
Turn-Key will be engaging in some friendly internal competition this weekend with the squad split in half, forming two teams (Suns Out Guns Out, Win The Night), for the competitive division of the annual NOU Co-Ed Tournament.
Sharp was commended for volunteering to play goal despite being injured, while props also went to Chandler Marsh, who is off to brighten his future with school in Saskatchewan.
Brent Poulsen pulled the hat trick and the Outlaws had an own goal as NET blanked the host Outlaws in a stormy, shortened Monday game.
Danny Stein earned the shutout, making a save when needed as the Timber controlled the play for most of the 70 minutes.
On Wednesday night at Marshall #2, the Timber didn’t slow down and got three goals apiece from Dexter James and Poulsen.
Stein came out of net at halftime and scored a deuce, while Alex Farina capped off the scoring.
NET’s elder statesmen combined for the goal of the night as Graham Ross sent a ball to John Farina, coming out of retirement for the night, who then flicked a perfect ball to Poulsen for an easy finish. Ross was named the Boston Pizza Man of the Match with four assists from the back line.
Camels ground Eagle Homes
The Hi-Pro Sportswear Camels FC shaded the Nation of Domination Eagle Homes 3-2 at Marshall #4.
Both teams had a hard time maintaining possession as simple mistakes were often made on both sides. As the first half wore on, the Camels started to create more chances and tested the NOD defence on a number of occasions.
NOD had little to offer until late in the half when with their first real chance, a cross, confused the Camels’ back line and they took the lead.
Undeterred, the Camels played more patient soccer in the second half, and within 10 minutes, levelled the score. Austin Jones pulled the NOD defenders outside the box and crossed over the keeper for the onrushing Trevor Rachwalski to bury the ball from one yard out.
With some weight off their shoulders, the Camels played a more relaxed style and not long after, simple passing in the midfield found Nathan Whitling in lots of space.
Whitling stepped forward with the ball unchallenged and fired a dipping rocket into the top corner from 20 yards out. NOD tried some long balls but keeper Shawn Campbell stayed very alert and calmed the nerves with aggressive play.
As the Camels kept NOD on their toes, a defensive error presented Jones with the ball just outside the box. He stepped in to the area and turned the keeper.
NOD scored with a minute to go.
Concept Physio started with just seven players in the 6:30 kick-off against 11-4-2 Revelstoke, getting a full roster 30 minutes into the game.
Left winger Brock Ream and keeper Chris Harris had fabulous showings for Concept (1-12-3).