Vernon United used a makeshift lineup but managed an impressive 1-1 draw with the Kamloops Blaze in Thompson Okanagan Under 17 Girls Rep Soccer League play Sunday.
United had nine regulars, two playing despite injuries, and summoned two girls from House league and fielded a substitute keeper in a gutsy showing.
Kamloops scored first on a nicely placed shot to the corner. Vernon came out fighting after that, with tireless runs up the wing by Jayden Strachan, and great speed by Danika Roy on gorgeous through balls from mids Keira Correia and Brianna Bobbitt. United equalized on a great play that started from the defence, built through the mid and went wide to winger MacKenzie Morin (who was playing up in rep for the first time). Morin slipped a feed into the box for Bobbitt, who cleverly pulled it to her strong foot.
By the second half, the Vernon girls were tired, but weren’t giving up. The strong back line of Kelsey Carriere, Reagyn Shattock, Carly Southam and call-up Cassidi Breitkreutz were smart and tenacious in their tackles in support of a marvellous Mason Christensen, who stepped up to play keeper. Ali Holman, betrayed by an injured foot, had to bow out of the game in the second half. Strachan, who had created some solid offense, also stepped out hurt. Down to nine, the team focused on a tight defence, with Roy staying up high as the lone striker.
The U12 Tolko Strikers went 1-1 Sunday afternoon in Salmon Arm, falling 1-0 to Kelowna B before grounding the Shuswap Selects 4-1.
Kelowna scored the winner late in the second half when a cross ping-ponged off several players into the net. Jesse Mitchell was noted for her strong play in goal and in central defence, while Chelsea Sladen and Kirsten Brown hustled in the midfield.
Down 1-0 to Salmon Arm early, Vernon finally hit their stride midway through the first half with Makenna Doyle registering two quick goals, assisted by Kristen Francks and Caryss Hill.
Francks collected two goals in the final half, being set up by Jessica Bond and Sadie Christensen respectively. Anna Hirschkorn distributed the ball well at centre mid, while Aimee Skinner dominated the defence.
The U12 girls under coaches Colin Clarke and Cory Hoard battled to a 2-2 draw on Sunday versus Kelowna. Goals were scored by Makenna Hamilton-Jackson on a breakaway and Adelynne Heyes off a beautiful corner by Joelle Kohtala. Lauren Hoard and Ashley Befus were stellar in net. Jordan Tung was a warrior on defence and Naomi King shone on forward.
In U11 Girls play Sunday at Kings Park in Penticton, Tolko M United earned a 2-2 tie and a 6-3 win over Kelowna teams.
Vernon’s defenders repeatedly stopped both Kelowna teams from entering their zone so goalkeepers could have light work. Tolko’s midfielders continually fed the speedy offence to create shots and goals consistently in both games.
Forward Camryn Steele and defender Taylor Stewart scored in the opening five minutes in the draw. Excellent passing generated assists by Ella Garrod, Hailey Olney and Sydney Lewis. Kelowna pressured for the tying tallies.
In Game 2, Steele scored twice in the early minutes with assists from Garrod and Lewis. After that, defender Alexa Straight scored a beauty from a long way out. Kelowna responded with two goals to end the half.
Tolko M went up by a deuce with Alanna Wellington feeding Garrod, who crossed it over to Hailey Olney, who finished sweetly. Stewart rang up the final two snipes with assists from Olney, Steele and Garrod.
Keeper duties were shared by Evalie Colclough, Wellington and Alexa Straight. The back line of Brinnley Maggee, Lizzy Wright, Davy Hornoi, Colclough, Stewart and Straight was bold.
United Coldstream Lumber U13 Girls fell 3-0 to Kelowna United G and 4-0 to the Kelowna Junior Heat at Greater Vernon Athletics Park.
Brooklyn Kineshanko had a chance early on with a nice pass from Mia Maltman in Game 1, but the Kelowna keeper shut her down, and two minutes later, Kelowna scored their first goal. Vernon keeper Jordyn Kisilevich held up well against a barrage of shots until almost the end of the half when one snuck by her.
The United defence came on strong from the start against the Heat with Katrina Winstanley and Sarah Claeys helping to hold off a voracious offence until a Kelowna goal midway through the first half.Mia Hyer had a couple of gigantic pushes fighting her way to the Kelowna net. The Heat counted two late tallies.