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Nelson U12 Selects win gold in Lethbridge

The team survived two shootouts en route to the tournament victory
The Nelson U12 Selects: (L-R) Sam Rice, Cedar Birse, head coach Stefan Humphries, Aiden Mandseth, Luka Denkovski, Dash Lindstrom, Colton Skinner, Ashton Cutts, assistant coach Adam Mandseth, Tye Zukowski, assistant coach Goran Denkovski, Herschel Kopet, Sebastian Humphries, Alex Evans, Cassius Hostynek, assistant coach Brian Cutts. Front: Jackson Sumner. Missing: Kai Mieske Photo: Submitted

The Nelson Selects under-12 boys team rallied to win gold at the Chinook Cup in Lethbridge, Alta., during the May long weekend.

Competing against five other teams from Lethbridge, Calgary and Red Deer, the team finished first in their pool on Saturday sending them to the semifinal game Sunday morning. Following the first half in the semifinal, the U12 Selects were down 3-1. The team battled back and tied the game at 3-3 with just minutes remaining in the second half. To determine the winner, the teams went to a penalty shootout, with Nelson emerging victorious.

The gold-medal game had the Nelson Selects face off against SC Central from Red Deer. Following a delay due to funnel cloud warnings, the game got underway amidst pouring rain and blistering winds. The Nelson Selects again went into halftime with a two-goal deficit but when the final whistle blew, the team had fought back and tied the game at 2-2.

Back to a shootout, the Nelson Selects again outshot the opposing team to take the win and the gold medal.

The team will have their name inscribed on the tournament trophy as the 2024 U12 Boys Chinook Cup Champions and were awarded a smaller trophy that will be displayed at the Nelson Soccer Association indoor facility.

It’s an outstanding achievement for the Nelson U12 Selects, who made a name for themselves with the rival competitors from significantly bigger centres in Alberta.