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Vernon United Tolko pops Penticton

Vernon U16 rep soccer boys sweep home-and-home series with Peach City rivals

Sporting their white jerseys, the Vernon United Tolko U16 Boys completed a home-and-home sweep of the Penticton Pinnacles with a 3-0 whitewash at MacDonald Park in Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League action.

In the 12th minute, as striker Michael Hoyland took Jonathan Bielski’s centering pass at the top of the box, he was mobbed by Penticton blue shirts. A marked man after scorching them for a hat trick in the previous game, Hoyland had all but broken free again when he was tripped up from behind.

Ashton Komaryk took the penalty kick, confidently placing a low shot into the right side of the net. Vernon kept taking the game to Penticton. When challenged at the other end, fullback Justin Russell won back the ball, and keyed a counterattack that swiftly flowed through Bielski and Hoyland to speedster Owen Davis, who laced the ball just wide. Facing his first serious test, keeper Gage Stoll dove to his right to swat the cracker of a shot away. Centre-back Josiah Falk personally ensured that the Pinnacles did not get another good look in the half.

Early in the second, fleet-footed Ethan Greenan took Russell’s feed on the fly, and, after a rapid give-and-go up the left wing with Tanner Lapp, Greenan let off a perfect strike which arced over the keeper into the netting. Fullback Cole Ogasawara was next to shine, fending off opposing forwards while rumbling his way down the right side to evacuate the ball and service his winger. Subbing off, Ogasawara received a boisterous ovation. With a polite bow, he was heard to say, “I just have to do my jobs. That’s it.”

Komaryk did the spadework on Vernon’s third goal, stealing the ball at midfield and then sending a gorgeous cross to the far post, where Lapp headed it home.

U15 GIRLS

It was a very even Mother’s Day match-up as Vernon United Tolko took on Kelowna United and dropped a close 2-1 decision.

Immediately, the Kelowna offence met up with formidable Vernon defenders Emma Glasser, Tori Maltman and Allie Maltman. Anna Hirschkorn and Mia Maltman were quick on the draw with a couple of early shots. Despite a goal by Kelowna at the midpoint of first half, Kristen Brown, Kendra Grant and Kendall McKinnon kept the pressure on, and Skylee Sigurdson-Poirier hustled hard, startling the Kelowna keeper with a run in on net and a beauty cross up front. Keeper Ashlee Befus was on fire in the second half, keeping Vernon in the game.

Despite some fancy defensive moves by Paige Cover and Jordyn Clarke, and a superhuman run by Jesse Mitchell to catch a runaway Kelowna forward, Kelowna was able to put another one in. Hirschkorn robbed the Kelowna keeper of a shutout with a beauty shot from almost the centre line. Within minutes, Mia Maltman almost tied it up with a shot off of the crossbar.

U13 GIRLS

Vernon United Tolko Venom fell 3-2 to the Kamloops Blaze in the sweltering midday heat at MacDonald Park.

Vernon turned up the heat on the visitors straightaway. After Ava Cesario’s first-minute corner kick was cleared back over the touch line, she played a second ball short to Aimee Glasser. With one touch, Cesario sent the return pass in to Sydney Lewis, and she swung the ball to Lauren Cunningham, who curled a shot expertly inside the right post.

After Kamloops equalized off a corner of their own four minutes later, the Vernon defence, anchored by Jayda Hatch and Jasmine Soon in the middle, held the Blaze shotless for the rest of the half, while up front Glasser, Lewis, Cunningham, and Ella Garrod continued to create chances. In the 33rd minute, Garrod tracked back to strip the ball from an orange shirt and aired it up the right side to Lewis, who blew by a defender into the clear. Freezing the goalie with a fake, Lewis stepped around her and tucked the ball into the open net.

Kamloops used their deep bench to push the pace in the second half, and struck for two on high, hard blasts. The Vernon girls pushed back in the late stages with Cesario launching attacking runs up the left wing, leading to a frenzied finish. Soon latched onto Cesario’s free kick in the box, but her tying bid was blocked on the goal line, and the keeper recovered to make a final desperation save on Brinnley Magee.

“What a battle in the heat! Very proud of the way the girls played today,” said Vernon coach Rob Cesario, applauding the girls’ gutsy performance. “Even being shorthanded, we were there right until the end.”

U14 BOYS

Vernon United Tolko fell 5-4 to Shuswap United and 8-0 to Kamloops.

Against Shuswap, Jentenzen Peterson scored twice, Jerome Winter scored one, and James Tolpinrud had the other. It was a back-and-forth game. Honourable mention goes to Gavin Ingbrigtson and Matthew Hill-Turner for a strong performance.

Against the team known as Kamloops M, the game was played mostly in the Vernon end with multiple scoring opportunities created by the Kamloops offence. The player of the game for Vernon was Rowan Calder with a strong showing from Trey Schober as well.

U13 BOYS

Vernon United Tolkohosted arch rivals Penticton in a Mother’s Day showdown at MacDonald Park, and it was the visitors who came out on top, 3-2.

Vernon got off to a glorious start with Jake Blankley springing loose Jessiah Wadsworth with a gorgeous through ball breaking the Penticton backline. Wadsworth darted past the Penticton team’s defence and buried the shot, opening the scoring. Penticton battled back and got up two goals to one until Thomas Nice played a cross into the box which rattled off a dozen players shins and dropped for Wadsworth. Wadsworth attempted the shot but it ricocheted to Griffin Trickey, who calmly put it past the Penticton goal keeper.

With the game tied at 2-2 both teams pressed for the third goal and Penticton converted with a long shot that sailed over Vernon United’s keeper Lyndon Carleton. It was a tough loss but a well played game for the Tolko boys. Solid play from Al Durfeld, Ethan Nickoli and James Lockwood kept the boys in the game. Rylan Nadurak had several shots on net that just barely missed the target. Wadsworth missed on a second break away.

“We’ve been focusing on maintaining possession and playing it out of the back for the past several weeks and we’re starting to see progression in the boys soccer intelligence and game awareness. There’s still two practices to go before the Slurpee Cup and I’m sure we’ll be ready to compete for the Cup,” said coach Jeff Nice, referring to the long weekend annual event in Kamloops.

U12 BOYS

Vernon United Tolko White went to Kelowna and scored a 5-2 Mother’s Day win for their moms over Kamloops.

Goals came from Bentley Oyarzun, Deklen McDonald, Brayden Fernly, Carter Gislason and with an impressive penalty kick goal from Cole O’Connor in this high energy game of the morning.

United than fell 2-0 to another Kamloops team for its second game of the day. Vernon played a strong defensive game in the 30 degrees heat but Kamloops put on the pressure. The boys played both games with strong teamwork and determination. Marcus Barrajon played goal for both games and his efforts didn’t go unnoticed making some amazing saves throughout the day.

U14/15 GIRLS HOUSE GAME, VERNON BLUE VS VERNON YELLOW

Vernon Yellow coaches Kim Cooper, Shelly Johnston and Dave Eddy praised their charges, despite a 5-0 loss in the hot sun at MacDonald Park.

First half was at zeros with the mighty Keyaira Ross in the net, having ust returned from an injury after being out the first few games and she never missed a beat. Stopping many attacks at the net, good body movement and strong kicks kept the Yellow team in the game. Speedster Carys Reed carried the ball on many occasions with breakaways with ultra strong cross kicks (just like her mom, Cheryl) and used the “follow your ball” mantra as she tried over and over to score. Fellow speedy forwards Leah Grieve and Ashley MacGillivray were also running sprints trying to tally in the first heat of the season.

Midfielders Shelby Fraser, Savannah Crandell, Avery Collins, Sofie Hooysma were fantastic on the field. Showing themselves open for passes and working towards “first to the ball” they created many attacks getting the ball up the field to the ever ready forwards.

Strong defensive wall by Lauren Eddy, Ava Leibel, Georgia Cooper and Sierra Spillett. This packed defense team of talent prevented many goals with their aggressive plays on the ball to keep the zone clear.

“Sometimes the score does not reflect the game and in this case, true,” said Coach Johnston. “Great squad of ladies! Kudos to you all. Be proud!!! I know we are.”



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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