Vernon Tolko United let a two-goal second-half lead slip away and settled for a 4-4 draw with Kelowna United N in Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League U15 Boys Rep soccer action Sunday at Kelowna’s Mission Park.
The hosts opened the scoring in the first minute, but Ethan Greenan crossed to Ashton Komaryk and he equalized a minute after that. Komaryk scored again from Cole Ogasawara to make it 2-1.
An unfortunate play in the box led to a penalty kick for Kelowna and the score was quickly 2-2. With five minutes left in the half, Owen Davis sprinted past the Kelowna defence and made it 3-2 for United. Davis notched another goal in the first minute of the second half. Kelowna added two goals later in the half to tie it up.
Vernon had their chances in the second half but the Kelowna keeper made some amazing saves to maintain the tie.
Tolko United U13 boys split their weekend games, winning 5-0 in Penticton Saturday before losing 1-0 at home to Kamloops Sunday.
Employing a quick passing game and playing into a strong wind, the Vernon boys had Penticton under constant pressure and recorded numerous posts before Jerome Winter slotted one through the Penticton keeper’s legs after a scramble in front of goal.
Penticton pushed hard for an equalizer but Dillon Rinkel in the Vernon net stood tall to deny Penticton on a good breakaway chance.
Vernon kept the pressure on and another excellent passing play that started at the back with Rinkel, and was touched by eight Tolko players, ended with Kailen Russell hitting his third post of the game.
Ethan Anderson did a superb job controlling the midfield through his tenacious winning of the ball. A few minutes before the end of the first half, Henry Routley cut in from the left touchline and beat three defenders before finishing with an excellent shot over the advancing Penticton keeper.
In the second half, thanks to the wind at their back and the superb control of the back line anchored by Blake Beaton, Vernon had little trouble in keeping the play in the Penticton half.
The goal frenzy started when the speedy Russell chased down an errant back pass to the keeper and won a corner. Still struggling with images of the Russell attack, the Penticton keeper missed the ensuing corner, allowing Ti Johnston an easy tap-in at the far post for United’s third goal.
Jentezen Peterson, on his injury comeback, showed that he hadn’t lost his soccer smarts when he jumped on a botched clearance by the Penticton keeper, drew two defenders and calmly laid the ball off for Russell, who finally missed the post and found the net.
Josh Donison fooled all 21 players as he gently floated a cross from the left side of the box which the wind assisted into the Penticton net for the final tally.
Not yet off the high of Saturday’s victory, Vernon started badly against Kamloops on Sunday when Rinkel got injured in the warm up, forcing Beaton to don the gloves for the start of the game while Rinkel received attention.
Kamloops capitalized on the confusion in the Vernon defence and slotted an early goal.
Rinkel returned to action and made some stellar saves to keep Vernon in the game but Kamloops’ aerial ability and their control of the midfield cut off the supply for the Vernon forwards.
With numerous corners and shots flying past goal, including a 25-yarder from Jonas McMeeking-Walsh which shaved the crossbar, Kamloops managed to hold on for the win.
United U12 Boys Team Nice shaded the Shuswap Selects 3-2 and grounded Kelowna United in Kelowna.
In Game 1, Dane Beaton dominated the midfield and James Tolpinrud was superb as a central defender. The front three of Tristiano Driedzic, Conrad Halloran and Thomas Nice were like Neymar, Messi and Suarez – intimidating and unstoppable.
Halloran pocketed two goals and Driedzic posted his first of the season. Man of the Match was Vernon’s keeper Ford Race who made countless stops.
In the second game against Kelowna, Halloran opened the offence with a nifty left move and then a right maneuver for a quick 2-0 lead.
Cyriaque Ahne arrived late and the coach subbed him in right away. Ahne’s first few touches led to the 3-0 goal. A stellar series of passes ended in another Halloran goal before the break.
Jessiah Wadsworth registered two back flip-worthy goals in the second half.
“This is the best I’ve seen the boys play,” said coach Jeff Nice. “We dominated the game end to end and stuck to our game-plan. The boys are responding well to our 3-3-1 system and showing lots of composure on the ball. I’m very proud of our teams efforts today.”
Tolko United U12 boys ambushed Kelowna United Red 7-1 Sunday.
Owen Challen made an impressive run through the midfield to put Vernon on the sheet within minutes, while Alexander Jones scored on a free kick after a foul and Carter Leahy followed up shortly thereafter. Kelowna charged back and picked up a rebound but Marcus Erho answered for Tolko.
Challen converted again on an off-balance kick and Cash Anderson also connected off a great pass from the midfield. Cam Acob sent a cross that Nick Noren headed in for the final goal.