The Tolko Vernon United U12 Boys Team Nice finished the Rep soccer season by stopping Kelowna United 2-0 and grounding Penticton Pinnacles 9-2 Sunday in Kamloops.
Team Nice went ahead of Kelowna when Jeffrey Curtis sent a beauty cross into the box for a deft finish from Malakai Touch. Vernon kept pressing and was rewarded when right fullback James Lockwood dribbled the ball into the Kelowna final third and launched a missile into the back of the net.
Lyndon Carelton registered the clean sheet, getting dynamite defence from Alessandro Durfield, Ethan Nickoli and Luka Romero. The Burger King Man of the match went to Touch for his wicked dribbling skills and clinical game-winning finish.
In Game 2, Rylan Nadurak recorded three top-class goals with his left foot and Touch rang up three sensational goals.
Thomas Nice, on loan from Team Lockwood, pocketed two goals on quick counterattacks and breakaways. Nice’s speed shocked the Pinnacles’ back line and his quick finish punished the keeper.
With the game all but over, Durfield subbed into the striker position and managed to add another goal deep into stoppage time. Durfield’s first goal of the season earned him the Red Robin Man of the Match honours.
Griffin Trickey was outstanding all weekend and contributed to most of the Vernon goals.
“Trickey’s ability to play into space and frustrate the opposing team’s attacks were critical elements in both of Vernon’s wins,” said head coach Jeff Nice. “The 2018 season was a huge success for the U12 boys and I’m very proud of how well the team has developed. We have a solid mix of attacking minded players as well as defensive minded players. The balance has led to many wins and exciting games. I look forward to the season next year.”
United Tolko U11 Blue boys also pulled a daily double Sunday, blanking the Revelstoke Avalanche 6-0 and shading host Kelowna 2-1.
David Kitzman jumpstarted things just minutes into the Revelstoke game. Jake McNaughton and Austin Goodrich made it 3-0 before the break. United’s defence intercepted multiple Avalanche passes all half.
Tolko got second-half snipes from Jonah Petrone, Steven Taylor and Emmett Out in support of Keaton Lamoureux
Vernon spotted Kelowna the lead on a free kick in their final match of the season.
McNaughton and Anderson Bicknell answered with gorgeous goals to give Vernon the first-half lead.
Vernon got some strong kicks by Out and sweet passing by Keegan Mark and Zoel Willett, while the defence were bold in the final half.
United Blue gave major props to coaches Kevin O’Conner, Mike Barrajon, Mark Budgen and Dana Fraser as well as sponsor Tolko Industries.