Nelson Selects U12 Boys completed a very successful season by earning a silver medal in the Pend Oreille Cup, held in Sandpoint, Idaho Sept. 12 and 13.
Coach Eric Sollid said they played possession soccer, and did not resort to a kick-and-run style of play.
“Excellent job of being aware of support and using supporting players to pass the ball,” said Sollid. “The team passing and player movement off the ball frustrated their opponents.”
Players adjusted well to 11v11 soccer format, where previously this year they have played 8v8 soccer.
Brett Adams, Whitecaps Kootenay Region Head Coach, provided the team with some very timely instruction on how to adapt and be successful in the days before the tournament.
The depth on this team made it difficult to identify a standout but the coaches recognize the tournament team captain Matthew Erickson for his leadership and consistent play.
An extra challenge for the team was competing against players who were one year older. They finished 3-0 in round robin play with 13 goals for and 3 goals against.
In the gold medal game, they played the Missoula Strikers Black, the #1 ranked U-13 team in Montana. Nelson went up 1-0 early, with the game being close at 3-2 for Missoula for some time. Two goals in the last part of the game resulted in the final score 5-2 for Missoula.
“The team represented Nelson very well,” said Sollid, “and earned much respect from the other teams in this tournament.”
Nelson Selects U15 Girls-Front: Shianne Michalchuk, Ashley Hall, Hanna Quinn, Shaen Panko-Dool, Ruby Seright, Mattea Lorenzo-Langevin. Back Row: Coach Peter Quinn, Jodi Surina, Abby Beauchamp, Ruby Creighton, Bella Guderyan, Julia Burkart, Emily Taylor and Grace Dehnel. Background: Coach Paul Burkart
Revelstoke Little Bear Tournament U15 Girls
The Nelson Select U15 girls travelled to Revelstoke the same weekend to play in the Little Bear soccer tournament and came away with a silver medal.
The Nelson team opened the tournament with a match against the host Revelstoke U16 squad as they played a year up in the seven team U16 division. The Nelson strikers proved too much for the host squad scoring nine goals in the first half of the game and coming away with a 9-0 win.
“The girls produced a lot of scoring opportunities and took advantage with some great finishing,” said coach Paul Burkart. Shianne Michalchuk led the scoring with four goals, Mattea Lorenzo-Langevin and Shaen Panko-Dool each picked up two goals and Abby Beauchamp added a single marker.
Nelson played their second match against a strong Calgary Azzurri team. Although Calgary dominated much of the play in the middle and offensive thirds of the pitch, the Nelson squad, who traveled with a short bench and only a single sub for this game, played a strong defensive match.
“In my six years of coaching rep soccer and I have never seen a more gutsy performance than I did in this game,” said Burkart. “The girls were absolutely exhausted as it was nearing 30 degrees and we didn’t have a bench to support them. Every single player left everything they had on the field.”
In the end, the Nelson squad earned a very hard fought 0-0 draw. All the players played a great game, with two standouts, keeper Hanna Quinn and central defender Julia Burkart who turned back a number of breakaways created by the Calgary squad.
Heading into Sunday’s play, Calgary Azzurri and the Nelson U15s had identical records. As a result, a shootout was required to determine which team went on to the gold medal game and which team would play for the bronze. After losing the coin toss, Nelson was first to shoot with Jodi Surina’s strong shot being stopped by the Calgary keeper. Calgary’s first shooter missed the net to keep the tally even. The final four Nelson shooters, Shianne Michalchuk, Grace Dehnel, Emily Taylor and Abby Beauchamp, and the next three Calgary shooters all scored leaving the final Calgary player to shoot. Keeper Hanna Quinn turned away the final shot earning the Nelson squad a trip to the gold medal game against a second Calgary team, the Blizzard.
In the championship game, Nelson controlled much of the early action but were unable to find the back of the net. The Blizzard began to create some of their own scoring opportunities and late in the first half were able to beat Quinn with a strong drive from outside the penalty area.
After the half time break, Nelson was awarded a corner kick and midfielder Emily Taylor lofted a beautiful kick through the penalty area on to the foot of striker Shaen Panko-Dool whose well-timed volley beat the Calgary keeper and evened the score. Although both teams had a number of scoring opportunities in the final quarter of the game, it was not until the final eight minutes before a Calgary striker was able to get past the Nelson defence to beat an outstretched Nelson keeper. The game ended in a 2-1 win for the Blizzard leaving the Nelson girls to collect a well deserved silver medal.
The Nelson U15s were in action again last week for the final tournament of the year at Kootenay South’s Eye of the Storm tournament in Castlegar.