Under 13s ice Blaze

Vernon United bounces the Kamloops Blaze 3-1 in Under 13 Boys Rep Soccer League playoff action Wednesday afternoon at Marshall Field #5.

The Vernon United bounced the Kamloops Blaze 3-1 in Thompson Okanagan Under 13 Boys Rep Soccer League playoff action Wednesday afternoon at Marshall Field #5.

United (2-4-1) fell behind in the third minute when an 0-6-1 Kamloops winger outran the Vernon defence and shot the ball just past the reach of Vernon keeper Elias Jensen.

United converted at 27 minutes when Reed Cashato intercepted a clearing attempt, beat the lone defender and deftly chipped the ball over the onrushing keeper.

Seconds into the second half, Kevin Thibault hit the post after being set up nicely by Cashato. Vernon midfielders Liam Hennig, Charis Ondrik, Langdon Kersey and Matthew Jackson kept possession and had the best passing sequences of the season with the forwards, who created countless chances.

The back line of Jay MacKenzie, Sam Eggert, Morgan Nichols and Peter Hirschkorn weren’t overly busy in the second half but helped spark the Vernon attack.

The breakthrough came with six minutes to play when striker Malcolm Wiens was taken down inside the 18. He calmly converted the penalty, going high left.

With less than five minutes to play, Vernon kept the pressure on and sealed the win on the play of the year. Wiens ran onto a through ball up the right side, going deep before crossing it into the area where a determined Nichols finished from eight yards.

“The boys showed a lot of character coming back from 1-0,” said United coach Rolf Hirschkorn. “It would have been easy for them to just pack it in. The passing was exceptional and the boys played some of their best soccer of the season.”

Owen Burnet and Cam MacKenzie were noted for their strong play down the left side, while Tiege Doughty and Kenzel Aarst-Roman provided great service from the right.

Vernon, who finished fourth, meets first-place Kelowna United Saturday, noon, in semifinal play at Kings Park.