The defending champion Goplen Drillers started the 2011 North Okanagan Women’s Soccer Association Masters Division season with a 4-2 win over the Seasons Sistas Tuesday night at Marshall Field #5.
Lena Urquhart opened the Drillers’ scoring with a hard shot past a diving Sistas’ keeper Pam Zalcik on a penalty shot.
The next two goals were scored by Karen Zupp working hard as a right forward. Veteran keeper Shaun Nickoli earned a shutout in the first half, stopping Kim Sylvester’s breakaway shot, and helped to mentor Jamie Currie, a volleyball player making her debut in net in the second half.
The Drillers also welcomed new coach Darren Zupp and got great play by newcomers Stephanie Curtis, Kylah Bryde and Michelle Connolly. Their final goal came from speedy Shelley Zupp.
The Sistas, made up mainly of first-year newbies or players who have not touched a ball since highschool soccer, showed nerves at first but got more confident as the game went along.
The second half brought some rewards for the hustling Sistas as Sylvester scored on a breakaway. She later made a beautiful rush down the side and made a cross pass to an open Sasha Schenker, who drilled a hard shot which was blocked by Currie.
Veteran Andrea Zubot made a short rush from the side of the 18-yard box and unleashed a hard blast just missing the far post. Sylvester then broke in with blazing speed and crossed the ball across the crease to an open Schenker for the easy tap-in goal, her first ever in league play.
Coach Kerry Zubot said the Sistas took pride in winning the half 2-1 and little victories during the game like passes, dekes, shots and throw-ins.
Other Seasons Sistas who played well were centre back Sherry Weibe, stopping the Drillers’ attack numerous times, and Coca Fair, who played hard up front and on the back line.
In other action, Sir Winston’s Okanagan Impact and Monashee’s Pub drew 1-1.
Edeen Ramsey scored for the Impact, who received excellent efforts up front and got great hustle by all-rounder Kim Wiebe.
Excellent play was turned in by Suzy Andrews as stopper/sweeper, while Val McConkey, Heather Findlay, Janelle Smithson and Sue Herring all pulled up their socks for a great first game as well.
Marianne Defoor replied for Monashee’s.
The Tillicum Controllers brushed back North Okanagan United 2-1 at Marshall #1.
United converted their first corner when newcomer Sarah Kwantes cracked a ball to the head of Wendy Stevens, who directed it to Sue Barss, who brought the ball down on a text-book, chest-to-feet ball placement and scored.
Kwantes, who was on crutches with an ankle sprain Wednesday morning, showed a strong boot, first-to-the-ball attitude and positive chatter on and off the field.
The Controllers soon found their game and Jacquie Nuyens equalized midway through the first half, striking the ball firmly top corner past NOU keeper Dar Weise.
In the second half, the backline of Jody Pope, Val Percy and Player of the Match Brandie Hunter took control, limiting chances and shutting down NOU. Tillicum went ahead as newcomer Deanna Baker’s corner landed at the feet of Therese Weber, who found net just under the crossbar.
Youthful newcomers Melissa Jacobs and Claudia Chalabi were an awesome addition to the team, while Tania Willett hit the field lighter, fitter and faster than last season.
In Competitive Division play, the North Enderby Celtics clipped the AF Blazers 3-2 Wednesday night at MacDonald Park.
Carissa Morneau tipped in a feed from Carley Major to open the Blazer scoring.
“The first 10 minutes of the game looked like a season opener, but after banging out the rust, the Celtics pulled it together nicely,” said Celtics’ coach Graham Ross.
The Celtics battled back hard scoring three unanswered goals. Veteran Jenn Siegmeuller came out of early retirement to lead the Celtics scoring, equalizing midway through the first half after great build up all the way from the back line.
Carly Smith volleyed a great pass over the Blazers’ back line to Siegmueller who took a shot just enough out of the keeper’s reach. Jodi Bariesheff showed off her always calm demeanour as she slotted home the Celtics’ second goal 20 minutes into the second half.
Seigmeuller scored the third goal shortly after displaying her work ethic with a non-stop run past the defence.
Jane Higgins of the Blazers hit the crossbar from 30 yards out and that seemed to fuel the Blazers as they continued to pressure the Celtics in the dying minutes with Bettina Berger knocking in a cross from Jen Hatten.