Nelson goalie Ella Peloso has been selected as the co-captain and goalie for an elite squad of U12 girls headed to the 2014 BC Summer Games.
“Let’s call it the provincial Olympics,” said head coach Clemente Mirinda Trevino, who selected the 14 members of the team after extensive try-outs. He called them “the best of the best” in the region.
“We have a very talented group of girls,” said Trevino. “We want to play from the back, build up our play and create chances. The biggest challenge will be to try to execute our style of play against an opponent who’s going to put pressure on us.”
Trevino has been helping the girls to work on their passing and possession skills, rather than relying on long kicks. The team consists of eight players from Nelson, five from Cranbrook and 1 from Rossland. He said they’re already beginning to gel as a unit.
“This experience, obviously there’s been lots of preparation. I tell them to keep it simple, trust your teammates,” he said.
Peloso will be sharing duties with Cranbrook-based co-captain Lucy Lalach. The two of them have taken Trevino’s tutelage to heart.
“I tell the girls to remember everything Clemente wants us to do. The stuff we do in practice we need to do in the game, even if it’s not perfect,” said Lalach.
“It’s really fun because we’ve got a good coach that helps us and does a lot of cool stuff with us,” said Peloso.
Both of the girls were effusive about the chance to meet players from different regions and to receive the coaching expertise of Trevino and assistant coach Kerry Dyck.
When asked whether they expect to defeat their opponents, who will hail from Thompson Okanagan, northeastern B.C and the Vancouver-Squamish area, Lalach and Peloso both nodded.
“We’re pretty confident.”
Trevino noted that teams from the Mainland have a larger population pool to select from, and often have better facilities and longer seasons. But the girls are undeterred.
“We’ve prepared the girls to be ready, no matter the opponent,” he said.
Peloso said she has no hang-ups about going all-out during games.
“I guess I’m pretty aggressive. I do like tackling for the ball,” said Peloso.
She said their team recently played against older girls, and during game play she barely caught a top right corner kick.
“I’m going to have more saves like that one,” she said.
Peloso said she was recently inspired by watching the 2014 World Cup, and particularly the goalkeeping feats performed by Germany’s Manuel Neuer. She said she hopes one day to play at the same level.
This year’s other Nelson-based players are Alexis Dyck, Teigan Barnhart, Kaliana Forte, Abby Jackson, Lennox Lockhurst, Ruby Linnen and Farrah Marazicola.
For more on the Games, see Friday’s Nelson Star.