Mixed results for Thunder

The Kootenay Thunder regional girls soccer team visited Burnaby on Easter weekend to compete in the Western Canada Showcase Tournament.

The Kootenay Thunder regional girls soccer team visited Burnaby on Easter weekend to compete in the Western Canada Showcase Tournament.

This is one of the biggest showcase tournaments in Canada with college scouts coming from as far away as Notre Dame, Yale and Miami.

“The first game saw the freeze in the headlights as per usual at these events,” said Thunder coach Dave Spendlove.  “It is a team and coaching problem that cannot seem to be rectified.”

The Thunder were up against a powerful Saskatchewan provincial team and came away on the losing end of a 5-2 score.

A 25-yard screamer from Erica Augsten and a goal from a direct free kick by Nelson’s Brittany Wheeler kept the score close.

The second game of the weekend put the Thunder up against the Super Y league Abbotsford team.

“To any neutral observer they would have thought the Thunder were from the highest level of play in B.C. and Abbotsford was some small town team from the Kootenays,” Spendlove says.

The Thunder were a completely different team from the previous day’s action. The coaching staff said it was the best performance by the Thunder for the year and schooled the Super Y franchise in total soccer.

Goals from Andrea Stinson —  who beat three players and cooly slotted her finish home — and a wonderful left footed cracker from outside the box by Brenna Mckay completed a fantastic performance by the whole Thunder team.

Taylor Stewart, Eli Hewit and Jaala Derochie all played their best games of the season with Sam Einerson and Morag Paterson also putting in  good performances.

The last two games saw losses of 2-0 and 4-0 against Lakewood from Edmonton and Langley FC respectively.

“Again lack of firepower from the forwards and defensive mistakes cost the Thunder two games they could have easily won,” said Spendlove.

“Comments from many of the top college scouts attending this event were very positive and they liked how the Thunder girls tried to play possession soccer at all times.”

The program has received around a dozen inquiries from these college coaches about various girls in the program for the future. Some of the girls are only 14 or 15, playing up two years.

This was the final event for the season and the team’s first season at the regional level. Nelson girls involved in the program include Stinson, Stewart, Einerson, Tasha Hewat, Paterson, Augsten, Wheeler, Eli Hewat, Paige Mansveld, and Ameeta Bhabra.

Try-outs for the regional program for next season will take place July/August. For more information on this program go to soccerquest.ca or call 250-352-GOAL.