Taylor Zimmer’s header in the final minutes of a hard-fought battle between Okanagan Mission and L.V. Rogers was more than a ticket to the championship game at the Immaculata girls high school soccer tournament this past Friday and Saturday.
It was sweet revenge against a team that the Bombers fell to in a similar game on the same field one year ago.
“That loss last year really stuck with us,” said LVR coach Chuck Bennett. “The girls who were all part of that game last year talked about it and they were really focused on getting a better result. Last year, it was just one of those games where you knew you deserved better and then the other team was so cocky after the game that it just left a bad taste in your mouth. When we saw this game on the schedule for the tournament, it definitely got our attention.”
In the Saturday morning match, Zimmer finished a scrappy play that gave the Bombers a 3-2 lead they were able to hold onto to book their ticket to the final. However, that game was certainly a battle between the two best teams in the tournament.
“It was a very tough game,” added Bennett. “They are a very good team. They are well coached and have some very strong players. It was easily our toughest game of the tournament.”
Okanagan Mission opened the scoring early in the first half on a beautifully struck free-kick that LVR keeper Hannah never had a chance on. Emma Wheeldon brought the Bombers even after some great work by Emily Taylor inside the Okanagan Mission penalty area created an open shot for Wheeldon.
LVR took the lead in the second half on a goal by striker Naomi Perkins. However, with under ten minutes remaining Okanagan Mission scored and it was starting to look like penalties before Zimmer gave LVR the lead.
LVR opened the tournament on Friday with a 3-0 win against NorthKam Secondary School and a 4-1 win against Pemberton. Against Northam, Perkins and Taylor both scored and there was an own-goal from Kamloops. In the game against Pemberton, Laurel Halleran drilled home a great free kick, but it was Perkins who stole the show with a spectacular hat trick.
“Each goal was better than the last,” said Bennett. “She is a really, really talented player and she basically took over the game.”
In the final Saturday afternoon against Mount Baker from Cranbrook, Perkins again led the way with a pair of goals. However, Zimmer also showed her scoring as she added two more to her tally for the weekend. The game was never really in question as LVR beat its Kootenay rival 4-0.
“Those two really clicked all weekend. Once they got going they caused the other team fits and the end result was quite a few goals,” said Bennett.
The next action for the Bombers will be at another Kelowna tournament at the end of April.