Facing stiff competiton from much larger associations, a pair of Nelson Youth Soccer Soccer Selects squads came away with silver medals over the weekend.
The U13 Selects boys and the U18 Selects boys made it to the finals of the Provincial B Cup Championships on Sunday. Both teams fought hard, but eventually came away as the second best sides in the province.
“Two silver medals are something this entire community should be very proud of,” says Nelson Youth Soccer Association president Chuck Bennett. “These young players put together some great soccer during the weekend. As an association these are very encouraging results and sets us up well for the future.”
The U18 boys came into the B Cup in Penticton seeded fifth, but managed a pair of wins in round robin play. Nelson beat Bulkley Valley 2-1 to open the tournament and then topped the host Pinnacle club 5-0 in the second game.
The 2-0 record vaulted the Nelson side to the final where they lost 5-1 to the powerhouse Chilliwack Attack in the gold medal match.
In Powell River the U13 Selects rode a 2-1 round robin record to the gold medal game. The upstart Nelson team beat the Kamloops Blaze 2-1 to open the tournament, but followed it up with a 5-3 loss to the Coquitlam Ford Nitro. In the third game the locals beat the Comox Valley Red Strike 2-1 to earn a shot at gold. Nelson lost 2-0 to the Prince George Kodiaks in the final.
Nelson sent six of eight teams to the Provincial B Cup tournaments last week that were held in Penticton, Powell River and 100 Mile House.
On the girls side the U13 Selects finished fifth, while the U17 Selects came sixth. On the boys side the U14 Selects came away with an eigth place finish and the U15 boys finished sixth.
“When our teams get to the Provincial B Cup we are playing against some highly talented sides,” said Bennett. “We are dwarfed by many of these associations, yet in every single division our teams played hard and came away with very respectable results. We represented the Kootenays well.”
Though some sides expected better results, Bennett says there is no need for anyone to hang their heads.
“I’m sure some of the teams would have liked to come away with better results, but now they have something to build on for next season,” he says. “Just getting to experience this level of competition is sure to make every one of these players better.”
The Star will featured more detailed accounts of the Provincial B Cup in the next two editions.