Nelson’s Soccer Quest continues to open up plenty of opportunity to locals looking to take the sport to the next level.
Last month Soccer Quest brought a team to the Lower Mainland to participate in the Vancouver Whitecaps college showcase event.
“This is the third year this group has participated in this event and each year more and more of the Kootenay girls have received offers from schools and colleges across Canada and the US,” said Soccer Quest owner and technical director Dave Spendlove. “This year’s event was by strict invite only and Soccer Quest was the only non BCSPL (BC Soccer Premier League) team allowed entry into the event from BC.”
The showcase tournament started off with a tough challenge against Surrey United. The game started off poorly as centre back Samantha Einarson broke her leg in a strong tackle from behind from one of the Surrey girls. Then the two other centre backs — Sara Fuhr and Taylor Stewart — both received sprained ankles and had to leave the field. Striker Hailey McLean soon followed with another event ending ankle injury.
“With temporary goalkeeper Olivia Alexis called in the night prior to the event it was a tough haul for the Kootenay girls,” said Spendlove.
Despite strong play by Morag Patterson, Tasha Hewart and Laurel Sherrif, the Kootenay side lost 3-0.
The second game matched the Soccer Quest club against Mountain FC.
“With a patched up defence the girls displayed true character and should have walked away with a tie at least,” said Spendlove.
A poor first half performance due to players adjusting to new positions was highlighted by a great second half. But the hole was too big and Mountain FC came away with the 2-1 win.
“Britanny Wheeler and a hobbling Taylor Stewart kept the defence together and showed a true fighting spirit which inspired a great second half performance,” said Spendlove.
The third game saw a battered Kootenay team up against the Vancouver Island Wave. Vancouver came out strong, but the Soccer Quest girls contained the onslaught and slowly came into the game.
The second half again should have taken the girls into the lead, but tired legs and a patched up defence allowed the Island girls to walk away with a 2-1 victory,” said Spendlove.
Despite three losses, several players on the Soccer Quest team turned the heads of scouts. Nelson’s Andrea Stinson, Brittnay Wheeler, Taylor Stewart, Sarah Fuhr and Paige Mansveld are all now being courted by college teams. Hailey McLean of Castlegar is also in the group being courted.
On the boys side, Spendlove said Mitch Melanson has been identified by post secondary schools.
One boy Mitch Melenason. Girls are Hailey MaClean, Castlegar, Andrea Stinson, Brittany Wheeler, Taylor Stewart, Sarah Fuhr, Paige Mansveld all Nelson, Kelsey Martin Kamloops,
The Soccer Quest girls’ next event is the Western Canada Showcase in Vancouver this coming weekend.