Vernon duo earns all-star status

A pair of Vernon youth soccer products have made the Pacific Western Athletic Association (Pac West) all-star teams.

A pair of Vernon youth soccer products have made the Pacific Western Athletic Association (Pac West) all-star teams.

The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s soccer team was one of three schools with more than three players represented, with four. The men’s squad placed two players.

Junior midfeilder Michelle Smith of Vernon earned a first all-star team spot, while Vernon’s Austin Jones rung up a second-team selection.

Smith earned her first all-star by making many  spectacular plays on headers, using her great vertical to win balls and set up the Heat offence.

Four of her six goals on the season came off of a header, which is amazing for a five-foot-four midfielder.

“Michelle has slick feet and uses her superior ball control and has a wily ability to always make plays happen,” said Heat coach Claire Paterson.

Jones, a striker, earned his second straight all-star display after a solid all-around season that saw him score goals in five straight games, in one stretch. His technical ability with the ball, and strong finishing ability, struck fear into opposing defences.

“Austin is not strictly a goal scorer. His quick, precise passing ability has set up numerous goals over his career at UBC Okanagan, and he continues to prove his worth to the Heat,” said coach Dante Zanatta.

For the fifth straight year, graduating fullback Jennifer Kidd (Richmond) of the Heat was named a provincial all-star.

Midfielder Donald Straith (3rd year, Victoria) was the men’s team’s other all-star.

The five Heat women all-stars will be honoured at the provincial championships in Nanaimo before their first semifinal match, Saturday, noon, against the Quest University Kermodes of Squamish.