Vernon United U14 Boys, gold medalists in Easter IceBreaker. (Photo Submitted)

United U14s strike gold

Easter IceBreaker in Lake Country

The Tolko Vernon United U14 boys stopped Nelson Selects 1-0 (4-2) in penalty kicks to win the Easter Okanagan IceBreaker Soccer Tournament Sunday in Lake Country.

Jonathan Fraser-Monroe was stellar in net in a tremendous back and forth final. Battles in the midfield kept Jonah Strachan, Cam Acob, Ronan Hinds and Zach Loland busy, while forwards Carter Leahy, Nick Noren and Owen Challen battled up front.

Nelson started the shootout with a snipe, while Fraser-Monroe saved the second shot. While Nelson scored one more, Vernon recorded four in a row for gold at Beasley Park.

Vernon went undefeated in their bracket to reach the final, icing Prince George 2-0, clipping Port Moody ASC Selects 3-2 and shutting down Kelowna United 3-0.

In Game 1, Landon Janke scored off a rebound by Cash Anderson, who took advantage of a corner kick by Alex Kazimer. Janke assisted Marcus Erho for insurance. Justin Ruscheinsky had his first shutout of the season.

Alexander Jones launched one over the goalie’s head from midfield on a free kick for the first goal against Port Moody. Anderson finished for the second and Erho buried the final goal.

Erho scored twice and Anderson snagged one in the win over Kelowna. Liam Collins and Ronan Hinds were solid fronting Ruschiensky in net.

The Vernon Venom U12 Girls were snakebit on offence, but still played with effervescent verve in 2-0 losses to the Kelowna Warriors, Kelowna Animals, and Quesnel Strikers at the IceBreaker.

Kicking off each game with an animated and vociferous cheer, the Venom injected ever more vim into their play. Game 1 MVP Rylee Mairs was a revelation in net. The stingy Venom keeper coiled and vaulted to make several improbable fingertip saves. Leading Vernon’s attack was Aimee Glasser, who vexed her rivals with her velocity on the wings. On the backline, Jennie Pereboom and Lauren Cunningham defended the Venom den with vigilance and vigour.

Sophie Challen earned Game 2 MVP honours, as the roving midfielder perpetually pressured the ball and befuddled defenders with her creative moves. Glasser and Chloe Lu delivered balls to Jasmine Soon and Julia McLennan for dangerous strikes on net.

Against Quesnel, the Venom raised their level again. McLennan set up Ella Garrod for a pair of early chances. Then Olivia Henderson cleverly drew two Striker backs before flicking the ball to Garrod, whose drive glanced off the goalie’s glove past the far post. In short order, McLennan laced one just wide and hit a half-volley narrowly over the bar. Brinnley Magee received Vernon’s MVP Award for her aggressive play on both sides of the ball.

Vernon United U11 Boys Team Blue, coached by Mark Budgen and Dana Fraser, went 2-1-1 at the same tournament.

United opened by brushing back the defensive-minded Vernon Strikers 2-0.

United responded heavily in the offensive zone, using great ball movement and passing with Jeremy Peterson feeding Cale Fraser for a top-shelf volley goal.

The skilled ball movement was resumed by Zoel Willett, Jarek Livingston, Cale Fraser, and Peterson. Fraser delivered a quick pass to Peterson, who used amazing drive and footwork to power past the back line and nab the second goal.

Cole Budgen, Stephen Taylor and Emmett Out held back the Strikers attack in support of a solid and feisty Keaton Lamoureux.

Vernon then bowed 5-3 to Kelowna United’s Team Chris Martin.

David Kitzman sent a corker top corner and sent a beautiful pass to Peterson who powered it past Kelowna’s keeper, for the first two United goals.Fraser set up Peterson for an easy tap in on Vernon’s final goal. Brayden Fernley, Emmett Out, Keaten Lamoureux, and Carter Gislason showed incredible grit and determination.

United again displayed superb ball control in a 1-0 win over McKenzie Academy Dynamo of Calgary Saturday afternoon.

It was scoreless at the break with Vernon jumpstarting the second half with three rapid, sizzling shots by Out, Peterson, and Fraser with no luck. Budgen jumped up in the attack and a foul was drawn. The resulting penalty kick saw Cole place top cheddar. Lamoureux and Gislason shared the clean sheet.

The final game, on a brisk and snowy Sunday morning, saw United draw 3-3 with West Coast Auto Group FC Gunners of Vancouver.

Peterson struck early, assisted by Fraser. Shortly after, Fraser unleashed a blast and striker Jarek Livingston buried the rebound. West Coast retaliated and later levelled things early in the second half. Out made it 3-2 on a pass from Peterson. West Coast responded right away for the tie.

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