The Nelson U12 Selects brought four development teams to Kelowna this past weekend and returned with three bronze medals.
Enjoying high numbers in the rep program for 11 and 12 year old male and female players, this season the Nelson Youth Soccer Association has taken teams to tournaments with a mix of players from both ages.
The two Nelson U12 Selects boys teams played in different pools in the annual Kelowna Canada Day Tournament with both coming up with decent results.
The Nelson “B” side came away with a 2-1 round robin record thanks to wins against Yukon and Prince George where they outscored their opponents 10-2. Their only loss was a narrow 3-2 result in their opening game.
The Nelson “A” boys squad ended up with a 1-2 round robin record that included a 6-1 win over Prince George, a narrow 3-2 loss to Yukon and a loss to a strong Whistler team that ended up winning the tournament.
“The boys played well in all of their games,” said coach Mark Harold. “Their effort and level of play got better in each subsequent game. They competed and overcome many obstacles, including heavy rain, to reach the bronze medal game. It was a great team effort and every boy contributed and should be proud of their accomplishments.”
Both teams ended up finished tied for second in their respective brackets and were matched against each other in the bronze medal game.
“The boys appeared quite excited by this and clearly did not want to lose to their teammates on the other team,” said Selects mentor coach Jamie Spendlove. “To a player, every one of the boys raised their level and competed in a thrilling, tightly matched game.”
The bronze medal game ended up tied 1-1 at the end of regulation. At this point the coaches — unbeknownst to the players — approached the tournament organizers and asked if it would be possible to declare the teams co-bronze medalists which was agreed to. The players were still allowed to complete the penalty shootout which was won by a narrow single goal after five shooters by the Nelson “B” side.
“We thought it was only fitting that every player from both teams be awarded a bronze medal, since they are really all part of one larger team and since they played such an equally balanced game in the bronze medal match,” said coach Kerry Dyck.
The Nelson U12 Selects girls program also sent two teams to the tournament.
The Nelson White team finished with a 2-2 record which was good enough to earn them a bronze medal. The Nelson Blue side finished with a 1-3 record that included a final match victory that went to shootout. The two teams were also matched up against other in the round robin where the Nelson White team edged Nelson Blue by a 3-1 margin.