Nelson soccer victorious at provincials

The under-16 Selects girls team won Nelson's first title in six years.

Nelson's Jodi Surina (right) makes a run with the ball at the B Cup provincials in Penticton. Surina and the under-16 Selects won the BC title.

The six-year drought is over. Nelson is once again a provincial soccer champion.

Ali D’odorico scored twice as the under-16 Selects defeated Vernon United 2-0 on Sunday to capture the B Cup gold medal in Penticton. The team finished the round-robin 3-0 before entering the final, where they won Nelson’s first title since 2010.

Chief Paul Burkart, who coaches the team, was elated with the victory. It’s only the third time since 2002 that Nelson has captured a provincial title.

“Crazy eh? Little Nelson taking on these big squads. We played so well, it was crazy,” he said Monday.

Burkart said he had scouted the Vernon side the day before the final and was apprehensive about who his team was about to play. “They had incredible defence, their goalie was outstanding and they had three fast, talented strikers. So I knew going into this game that we would have to play our best soccer, and as it turns out we certainly did.”

The Selects and Vernon stayed scoreless through the half, but Nelson struck shortly after the break.

Midfielder Emily Taylor found D’odorico, who beat the Vernon keeper in the bottom corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

That shot proved reliable for D’odorico on the next goal as well. Shianne Michalchuk battled past a defender and fired a cross to D’odorico, who took a step and directed the ball into the same spot as her first strike.

Vernon pressed, but Nelson’s backline and keeper Hanna Quinn proved up to the challenge.

“[Quinn] made some nice saves to keep a clean sheet. She did a nice job. Everybody stepped up when they needed to,” said Burkart.

It’s the second major title for a Nelson soccer team this year following the L.V. Rogers girls squad’s victory last month.

Nine boys and girls teams represented Nelson at provincials in Penticton and West Vancouver, and three returned with medals.

The U18 girls settled for silver after falling 3-2 on penalties to the host Pinnacles FC in Penticton, while the U14 girls earned bronze with a 3-2 victory against the Prince George Timberwolves.

Burkart said the U16 team’s gold medal was especially satisfying considering how their season unfolded. They started out with just 14 players and no nearby squads their age to play. Instead they would have to play younger teams, which they did in two tournaments, or older teams.

“It’s just overwhelming for me to see,” said Burkart, “because they worked hard. We’ve been working hard for three years to get to the spot where we were yesterday. It was rewarding.”

Just Posted

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

Evacuation alert for Syringa and Deer Park

The Syringa Creek Fire grew Saturday resulting in evacuation alerts.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Smoke scraps MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Nelson’s mural festival: scenes from opening night

Crowds wandered the streets and alleys finding delightful surprises in unlikely places

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Most Read