Jessie Henkel (left) of the PVSS Saints and Nathan Barendregt of the VSS Panthers battle for possession in North Zone senior AA boys soccer playoff action Tuesday afternoon at MacDonald Park.

Jessie Henkel (left) of the PVSS Saints and Nathan Barendregt of the VSS Panthers battle for possession in North Zone senior AA boys soccer playoff action Tuesday afternoon at MacDonald Park.

VSS secures Valley appearance

VSS Panthers stop PVSS Saints 1-0 in North Zone soccer semifinal to earn berth in Okanagan Valley championships.

With a berth in the Valley championships on the line, the VSS Panthers delivered with a 1-0 win over the PVSS Saints of Armstong in North Zone semifinal soccer action Tuesday at MacDonald Park.

“This was not our best and strongest game of the season, a typical hard fought playoff game, but I think we deserved the win,” said VSS head coach Klaus Gretzmacher.

“All season long we have trusted our strong defensive skills and our ability to play one-touch soccer to create counter chances which has paid off in the end. The boys move the ball very fast and I am very proud of this team.”

The Cats looked to secure a better seeding at Valleys, which go next Friday and Saturday in Kamloops, as they took on the Kalamalka Lakers in the North Zone final Thursday at MacDonald.

Kal iced the Seaton Sonics 3-2 in the other North Zone semi Tuesday.

The Saints started with a strong offensive wave and were met by a defence-orientated VSS squad.

Adam Fenske, assisted by Jordan Davies and Oliver Gretzmacher, recorded the lone goal in the 20th minute.

PVSS kept pressing in the second half, but the Panthers’ defence stood strong. In turn, VSS had several chances to extend the lead but were unable to convert several clear scoring chances.

“The game itself was well-contested as both teams attempted to pressure the ball carrier and limit the available space on the pitch,” said PVSS head coach John Hughes.

“As most of the play was competed in the midfield, both teams created very little in terms of chances on goal. It was good to see that at the high school level appropriate intensity and aggression can be channelled to produce an excellent brand of soccer that was pleasing to watch.”

The Panthers, who won the regular season at 5-0-1, have five juniors in the starting lineup.