Vernon United bounced the host Kamloops Blaze 4-1 for their first Thompson Okanagan Under 14 Boys Soccer League win Sunday at Hillside Stadium.
Inspired by new head coach Yogi Kongsdorf, United dominated early and got a goal from hard-working Jarrod Latta in the fifth minute.
Vernon kept pressing and scored another goal, a header by Perez Vermeulen off a gorgeous free kick deep in the Kamloops zone by Xander Sladen.
The second half had Vernon coming back fired up and still in control, giving up an unlucky goal by Kamloops before rallying with two more goals.
Latta made it 3-1, while Ben Purvis completed the offence with a seeing-eye, lazer-beam.
“The boys all looked strong and worked well as a team with our defence running miles,” said Kongsdorf, who takes his crew to the Kamloops Slurpee Cup this weekend. Ian Oliphant stood strong in goal as United improved to 1-5.
In U13 boys action, Kamloops edged visiting Vernon 2-1 Sunday at Valleyview Centennial Park.
The Blaze opened the scoring at seven minutes. The teams applied equal pressure at both ends and a corner by Cole Johnson to Nick Purvis almost worked for United just before the half.
United received bold defence by Ty Ogasawara and Jaidyn Gordon-Mason and plenty of offensive chances from Lee Christensen, Noah Podolski, Johnson and Purvis. Keeper Jared Jameson was stellar in the first half.
Some sweet passes and moves by Kristian Newell, Bryce Tkachuk and Jacob Baycroft jumpstarted Vernon in the second half.
Johnson’s free kick went just over the net 11 minutes into the half, but he buried a shot four minutes later. Kamloops netted the winner a minute later.
Hunter Housego, Christopher McIntosh, Zack Laranjo and Baycroft set up some nice plays deep in the Blaze sone, while Shaun Boucher was strong on the back line.
Johnson’s corner went to Purvis, who held the ball before being checked. Vernon defender Joseph Neufeld recovered the ball and chipped it over several players but it was saved by the Kamloops keeper. Podolski recorded a great save in the final minutes. Vernon is 1-3-1.
Rolf Hirschkorn’s United U15s drew 2-2 with Kamloops Sunday in Valleyview.
Vernon was awarded a free kick just inside the Kamloops half at 10 minutes. Peter Hirschkorn’s shot was bobbled by the keeper and Gavin Mason was Johnny on the spot and put the loose ball home.
Kamloops pressed hard but their only quality opportunity was parried away nicely by Harvey Pawsey.
Kamloops looped a high ball that was misjudged and found its way into the back of the net at 22 minutes.
Vernon came out with more resolve and pressed the play in the second half of a scrappy game with a number of fouls and three yellow cards.
In the 60th minute, Joshua Gray struck the ball low and hard under the jumping Kamloops wall allowing the ball to go clear through into the near post.
With 10 minutes remaining, Kamloops forced for the equalizer which they got off a corner that was poorly defended in the box. Things almost got worse a minute later when a penalty was given for a hand ball. The attempt missed high.
United U12 #1 boys swept a pair of Kamloops teams 5-0 and 9-0 at Kings Park in Penticton.
Max Chirkoff and Hayden Catt staked the boys to an early lead, with Ben Imrich on a nice corner, from Nate Paskiewich, increasing the lead. Aiden Skinner and Saajan Klair rounded out the scoring with Kevin Morgan recording the clean sheet.
Vernon, oozing of confidence, utilized some some slick passing and ball control in the 9-0 romp. Isaiah Ondrik popped a hat trick, with singles going to James Meeks, William Oort-Bosman, Jack Cotter, Chirkoff and Klair. Even keeper Morgan got onto the scoresheet, powering home a penalty kick from the spot.
United U12 #2 boys split their games, edging the Penticton Pinnacles 3-2 before bowing 5-0 to Kelowna United Black.
Liam Glennon finished off a great feed from Keegan Carmichael at five minutes in the victory. The Pinnacles tied it quickly before Ben Lesyk converted a great ball from Luke Jones before the break. Liam Reid provided a great ball to Glennon to put the lads up 3-1 early in the final half.
Penticton rallied late to close the gap, but Tysen Fairweather, Dawson Martian and Ben Morgan were dynamic to close them down.
The boys came out very flat in the second game and fell behind 3-0 at the half. Both Vernon teams are in the Slurpee Cup.
United U12 #1 girls ran to a 1-1 draw with Kelowna White Sunday at Marshall Field #1.
“The girls are really embracing the idea of passing and showing for the ball which leads to more ball control,” said head coach Mike Bertram. “They had the majority of the play and chances in this game. Anne Cherkowski and Tori Hauptman did an excellent job of controlling the midfield, creating lots of chances.
“Taylor Francks did a good job of showing for the ball on the forward line and attacking the net.”
Kelowna scored first off a long shot that squeezed by keeper Kenzie Koshure.
Vernon equalized when Emma Lockwood intercepted a ball and slipped it into the corner of the net. Sarah Troidl showed some good individual moves and was tireless in the midfield.
Defenders Callie Bertam, Emma Eggert and Sarah Beka nicely slowed down the Kelowna attack. Beka and Lockwood were sharp in splitting second-half goalie duties.