The Vernon Controllers and North Okanagan United battled to a scoreless draw in the extreme heat at the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy last weekend.
Jenny Currie enjoyed a semi-breakaway in the opening minutes, but put her shot over the bar with keeper Dar Wiese beaten.
Both teams traded chances in the first half, with NOU getting more chances in the second allowing keeper Michelle (Mickey) Embleton to shine.
“Mickey stood tall, taking away a couple of sure goals even reaching back and taking one off the line,” said Controllers’ coach Doug Macdonald.
The Controllers’ back line of Michele Wernicke, Brandie Hunter, Jody Pope and Val Percy were outstanding. A strong showing was turned in by midfielders Currie, Jodi Hawthorne, Angela Durfeld and Felicia O’Gorman with a stellar effort from Leslie Epp, Michelle Mercer, Krista Backer, Sherrie Kineshanko and Jacquie Nuyens up front.
The Controllers toured Castello ‘di Moncalieri castle before their opening match against the Fraser Valley Storm, which they lost 4-1.
The Controllers kept up with the speedy Storm for 10 minutes but found themselves down 3-0 at the half. In the second half, Felicia O’Gorman connected on a beautiful bend-it-like-Beckham free kick.
At game time, 10 of the 14 girls were still awaiting their luggage with two girls rushing to purchase gear prior to the match.
NOU, who has picked up a few players from around the globe, then bowed 2-0 to a Washington entry.
“It was super hot, the hottest ever known to man,” said NOU Wendy Stevens. “Big defensive game. Kudos to Janet Townsend, Pat Neilson and Shelly Johnston. Sprinting in the heat: not so priceless. Dar Wiese was priceless as our keeper.”
Neilson’s husband, John, is coaching a Calgary women’s volleyball team, full of former national teamers. They faced the Ukraine in the gold-medal match Wednesday.