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Tsunami roll National win

NOU's Lena Dean (left) meets the ball with a high kick past Edmonton NARF's Angela Loonen in National Oldtimers Soccer Tournament play Saturday at Marshall Field.

Stingy defence, great goalkeeping and stellar showings by a pair of emergency Vernon pick-ups carried the Calgary Tsunami Blues to their second straight title in the 32nd annual Vernon National Oldtimers Soccer Tournament.

Jacqui Hertlein scored twice and Lee Grieco-Savoy earned the shutout as the Blues bounced league rival Calgary Jags 4-0 in Monday morning’s women’s 35+ division final at MacDonald Park.

Melanie Blair and Andrea Feaver also tallied for the Blues, who got thoroughbred running all weekend from local Tori Haller and skilled minutes from Emma Louie, also of the Vernon masters league.

“We only had one goal against all tournament so the defenders and our keeper were doing their jobs and our strikers were able to get the finishing,” said Blues’ veteran Wendy Lumby, an Olympic skier who suffered an injury in the tourney opener and ended up coaching from the sidelines.

The Blues, who lost to the University of Alberta Green & Gold in the provincial indoor finals, pocketed $600, while the Jags took home $500.

Hertlein, a 44-year-old Calgary cop who played university soccer in Florida, was named MVP of the 10-team division. The tall striker scored both goals as the Blues grounded the Port Coquitlam Cougars 2-0 in their opener.

Hertlein (2) and Marica Toon handled the Blues’ offence in a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Divas, whle Hertlein and Blair each bagged two goals in a 4-1 victory over the Classic Relics of Calgary.

The Blues were anchored by 40-year-old sweeper Sophie Gronmyr (nee Spilborghs), who spent five years with the USL Vancouver Whitecaps in her early 30s after playing for the UBC Thunderbirds.

“We held them for as long as we could,” chuckled Jags’ coach Dominique Kaumeyer, whose club lost 5-0 to the Blues in league play a few days before the tournament. “They have tryouts and this is what they do. They’re a talented team.”

The Jags got goals from Kelly Hozjan and Dana Barnes in a 2-0 opening win over the Fusion F.C. and then tied the Cougars 1-1 on a penalty kick goal by Sarah Nielsen. The Jags finished pool play by downing the Divas 3-1 with Hozjan, Barnes and Elaine MacDonald (penalty kick) clicking.

The Relics banked $300 for third place with a 2-0 win over the BMW Eagles of Calgary.

Team NARF of Edmonton not only jumpstarted the bavarian garden fun all weekend, but they claimed the women’s 40+ crown with a 1-0 victory over Ripe & Reddy’s of Edmonton Monday morning at Marshall Field #3.

Defender Angela (Molly) Loonen, 45, scored for NARF and was selected MVP of the seven-team division. Former Vernonite Sue Vriens earned the shutout.

“Angela gives 110 per cent on the field, on the dance floor and in the beer garden, and she goes hard, winning all the 50-50 balls,” said NARF veteran Donna Hill, here for the 13th straight May long weekend event.

Team NARF, who got great support from local ladies Edeen Ramsey, Kim Wiebe, Vicki Ryan and Karen Zupp, toppled BC United of the Okanagan 2-0, blanked North Okanagan United of Vernon 2-0 and shut down the Calgary Extreme 3-0 in preliminary action. Jane Anderson-Smith of NARF took MVP honours.

Hill praised Vriens, normally a sweeper, for being a standout rather than a stand-in.

“She was amazing with a very unorthodox style. She took one hard shot off her face in the first game and she kept going. We didn’t know what she was doing half the time, but she made one big save against BC United and kept getting better.”

Team NARF presented tourney chairman Wayne Aasen and directors Erv Schuur and Harry Adam with colourful shirts commemorating their visit.

“Our weekend in Vernon starts on a Thursday and ends on a Tuesday,” said Hill. “The people here are so friendly. We just love this weekend.”

BC United took third spot with a 5-0 win over North Okanagan United, who got strong tournaments from defenders Pat Neilson and Shelly Johnston and striker Lena Dean.