The Nelson Selects U12 Girls sent two teams to the Cranbrook Jamboree last weekend. Each team consisted of a mix of U12 and U11 girls.
The Nelson Selects U12 Girls (1) team started the jamboree by playing the Kootenay South Storm.
The first half found the Selects struggling. Ashley Caponero was the keeper, holding her own in net with valiant efforts by the defense to keep the game from being one-sided as the Storm kept the heat on. Halftime came with the Storm leading 1-0.
Early in the second half, a well-placed indirect free kick for the Selects by Sophie Borhi, assisted by Taylor Harrison, tied the game. The team proved their merit in the second half with a lot of offensive action. The teams were evenly matched and the game ended in a tie.
The second match against the Kootenay East Rovers (1) was played more offensively from the opening whistle. The team displayed more efforts and several shots on net were taken, only to be denied. A heartbreaker free kick goal gave the Rovers a 1-0 lead in the second half which would turn out to be the game winner.
“This Rover team was mainly a U11 team we beat a month earlier by a wide margin shutout, with our goaltender never touching the ball during the game” said coach Rob Borhi. “For this game, we only allowed our older girls to try scoring with their heads, or by setting up our younger players to shoot. This made for a challenging game, with players having to think more and get creative.
“Despite carrying the offensive play and creating numerous chances, we weren’t able to convert. Though we took a loss, the players gained more from the experience than they would have in another potential blowout game.”
The third match saw the Selects a bit hesitant against the Kootenay East Rovers (2). Still, the girls were dominant against the opposing team, with many shots on net.
A free kick for the Rovers was the game’s first goal. The teams proved evenly matched, but the Rovers scored again late in the first half.
After halftime, the Selects powered up with their first goal, scored by Borhi from a Harrison cross in front of the net. Tight defense and power forwards proved to be beneficial as near the end of the game, Borhi scored again to tie it 2-2. Thunder boomed and the game was called 10 minutes shy of ending.
“It was encouraging that we were able to come back from deficits in the first and final games,” said coach Borhi. “All the girls worked hard and have been showing improvement. We will continue to work on a possession and passing style of play with this team, as well as ball control and finishing. If they learn these skills at a young age it makes all the difference to their future play.”
The Nelson Selects U12 Girls (2) used a powerful offensive unit and solid defence to come away with a 3-0 record for the jamboree.
In the first game, Nelson played against Kootenay South U12. In a tightly contested match, the Nelson squad came away with a well earned 3-1 victory. Goal scorers for Nelson were Reece Hunt with two and Semegn Atkinson with a single. Goaltender Sydney World, came up big when she stopped the Cranbrook team on a penalty shot and two subsequent rebounds before the Nelson defense were able to clear the ball.
The next game saw the Nelson squad take on their counterparts from Creston in a contest that Nelson was in control of from the beginning.
The final score was a comfortable 5-0 decision for the Selects with tallies from Michaela Anderson (2), Hunt, Rylee Zondervan and Teigan Barnhart. Keeper World again had to stop another penalty shot in this game, making it an incredible two for two in PK saves on the day.
In the final game of the event, Nelson had an easy time with the Kootenay East U11 squad, winning 7-0 in a game they dominated from the start. Goal scorers included Hunt (2), Zondervan, Farrah Marzicola, Anderson, Atkinson and World, who played out for the second half of this final contest. Helping keep the clean sheet in net in the second half was Sophie Edney.
“We received strong defensive contributions of Carly Rich, Sophie Edney, Ella Peloso and Alexis Dyck with the team only conceding one goal in three games in part due to their strong efforts,” said coach Darren Peloso.
The U11/U12 teams will now head to Kelowna for the Canada Day Youth Soccer Tournament.