The Vernon United Under 13 Boys defended their crown at the annual Slurpee Cup Rep Soccer Tournament last weekend in Kamloops.
Tiege Doughty, pouncing on a Sam Eggert rebound, supplied the early winner as Vernon secured the title with a 1-0 win over league rival Kamloops Blaze Sunday.
“It was a great start for the boys,” said Vernon coach Will Wiens. “I think everyone was quite surprised that the goal fell so quickly, but we took it to Kamloops right away and were rewarded for our efforts.”
Malcolm Wiens was game MVP, Elias Jensen posted the shutout and Connor London, Morgan Nichols, Peter Hirschkorn and Kenzel Aartz-Roman had solid games on defence.
Vernon opened the tourney with a 3-2 win over the Williams Lake Storm Saturday morning.
In the ninth minute, Charis Ondrik booted a free kick just under the crossbar from 25 yards out to open the scoring. Tied 1-1 at the break, Wiens went on a run up the middle, beating the keeper to the left. Cameron MacKenzie had the other goal.
Nichols was outstanding in net, Jay Peterson was game MVP, and Eggert and Hirschkorn plugged up the midfield.
Vernon came out flat in their second match, falling 4-2 to the Terrace Kermodes. Trailing 1-0 early, MacKenzie set up Wiens to equalize, but Terrace went up ahead 2-1 before the break.
United tied the game again in the 37th minute after Wyatt Carter knocked in a free kick by game MVP Ondrik. Langdon Kersey and Kevin Thibault had strong games in the midfield.
Vernon started Sunday with a convincing 4-1 win over the Pemberton Storm.
Wiens gave Vernon the lead just two minutes into the game when London sent a beautiful through ball from the back field. MacKenzie made it 2-1 when he collected a Wiens cross and beat the keeper to the left side.
Wiens pocketed his second goal, taking a Carter through ball into the 18-yard box before burying a left-footed shot. Matt Jackson rounded out the scoring after putting away a Wiens’ cross.
Vernon U17s strike bronze
The Vernon United U17 Girls claimed bronze in Kamloops, ending with a hard-fought 2-0 loss to New Westminster Barcelona.
Vernon could not get anything going as Barcelona, the eventual tourney champions, played an amazing passing game. Vernon game MVP was Megan Prentice.
United opened the weekend with a 3-3 draw against the TSS Academy of Richmond. Vernon was up 2-0 at the half on goals from Hana Ouchi, on a cross by game MVP Paige Ralston, and Tessa Coulthard, assisted by Prentice.
TSS came out strong in the second half with three unanswered goals. Vernon salvaged the tie in the final minute with a goal by Danielle Jackson.
The U17 girls dominated Kootenay South 3-0 in their second game, getting a pair of goals from Emma Tassie, one on a breakaway. Ralston, assisted by Ouchi, supplied the other strike. Jackson was game MVP.
Vernon played the Kootenay squad to the same 3-0 result in a Sunday rematch. Jackson, assisted by game MVP Ouchi and Marisa Berg, Ouchi, after a corner by Ralston, and Ralston, assisted by Tassie, supplied Vernon’s offence.
United U14 Girls bank three shutouts
In U14 Girls Slurpee Cup play, Vernon United posted three straight shutouts before falling 1-0 to Edmonton Sunday.
Edmonton took Vernon by surprise with some tight checking, and went up by a goal in the first half. United finished with a good effort and a few chances, but couldn’t quite finish.
Said United coach Brett Bandy: “A very skilled team and played great possession. Vernon matched their intensity and came out stronger in second half. So proud of all the girls with their effort and focus throughout the tournament.”
Throw-in specialist Talyor Vandale had a great two-way effort, while Maddie Laranjo was a vocal leader.
Jordynne Tomiak began her shutout streak as Vernon bounced Prince George 3-0 Saturday.
After a scoreless first half, Lydia Wood ignited Vernon by redirecting a corner off a Prince George defender. Not long after, Cayleigh Graham fired on net and Reyhanna Akkurt made good on a fumbled ball by the keeper. Graham capped the offence by breaking in on net and deftly placing a shot over the keeper.
The athletic Akkurt supplied the offence as United dominated Victoria’s Prospect Lake 1-0 later Saturday.
Vernon controlled the field and tested the Prospect goalie with some great shots and relentless pressure. Kate Healy was a brick wall on left defence, and Siena Nash was a steady presence.
After some initial pressure by the Vancouver Island Riptide, United woke up to secure a 1-0 win to start Sunday play.
Scoreless at the break, Vernon tightened up its play in the second half, and with just 20 seconds left, Akkurt delivered a cross that Kailyn Halvorson made no mistake converting. Alexa Tymkiw stopped any offensive push by the Riptide and cleared the zone smoothly. Kara Ross shut down their key striker with authority.
U12 Girls share B Division title
In U12 Girls play, United played to a scoreless draw against Kelowna White to share the B Division crown.
In a back-and-forth game, keeper Shauna Bradley was steady in net to earn her second game MVP award of the tournament. Paige Latta, Jai Sidhu, Alyssa Racine and Danika Roy all had charges at net.
Coach Al Gee’s girls opened with a 2-0 shutout against a European soccer school from Vancouver.
Roy took game MVP with a goal and an assist. Sierra MacGillivray and Chelsea Rooseboom distributed the ball well.
Sidhu, Latta and Roy handled the offence and Bradley earned the shutout as Vernon stuffed West Vancouver 4-0.
Madelyn Smith, Lailah Akkurt and Evan Koshure were consistent with strong defence.
On Sunday, Vernon gave up a two-goal lead, rallied to equalize, but fell 3-2 to Kamloops White.
With the game tied in the final minutes, Kamloops was awarded in indirect kick that led to the winner.
Sidhu earned game MVP rights for her two goals. Delaney Tetrault, Kalli Hamilton-Gee and Linnea Gallard all had stellar efforts.