Two carbon-copy 7-0 victories over Kelowna United have sent the Vernon United Tolko Boys U15 soccer squad to the provincial finals in Prince George starting Thursday.
Coached by Pat Hinds, Vernon faced Kelowna in a two-game playdown for the right to represent the Thompson Okanagan squad at the B.C. finals.
Fronted by Rogan Campbell and Jacob Huntington, Justin Ruscheinsky notched a solid shutout in Game 1 Saturday morning, June 22. Tolko came out strong from the first whistle with Declan Hardy, Zach Loland and Cam Acob holding the midfield. Carter Leahy, Alex Kazimer and Jonathan Fraser-Monroe, on the front line, brought shot after shot against the Kelowna United keeper. Ronan Hinds, Tyson Kamstra and Justin Arsenault supported the onslaught staying strong on the wings.
A foul in the box set up Hardy for a penalty kick and Vernon was on the sheet first. Marcus Erho fired a brilliant shot over the keeper’s head right before halftime. Brooks drove to the net, with Arsenault in perfect position, he was able to get the third goal before the halftime whistle. In the second half, Kamstra and Jonah Strachan held strong on the wings setting up Liam Collins and Ash Brooks for several drives to the net.
The boys did not let up with several great crosses by Strachan and Kazimer. Fraser-Monroe sent a cross to Leahy who followed in for a rebound, Huntington converted a corner past the keeper and Leahy placed a beautiful cross to Brooks who capped off the 7-0 win.
Game 2 Sunday morning started a bit slower with Loland coming up with the lone goal in the first half. Fraser-Monroe and Rucheinsky switched out for keeper duties for the second half. After a pep talk from the coach, Acob came out and within two minutes of the opening whistle, scored a bullet shot. Leahy followed up five minutes later making it 3-0. Ruschiensky and Kamstra assisted Leahy on his second of the game. Leahy also crossed to Acob who tapped the ball to Collins for goal five and set up set up with another fantastic pass to Kazimer for number six. Hardy sent a through ball to Arsenault who topped the total of 7-0 to finish the game.
This will be the third year in a row these boys have won the playdowns to advance to the Les Sinot Cup for the Provincial B Championship.