This past weekend the Soccer Quest regional girls team participated in the Vancouver Whitecaps Showcase event in Surrey.
The girls, representing various clubs in the Kootenay, played in this high-level event with teams from Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C.
This is the first year Soccer Quest has entered a full squad of players in this event, usually having girls enter individually and be placed on various other teams in the event.
The team entered the U16 age group but had several players aged14 and 15, so they were up against stiff competition from many club and academy teams that play together all year round.
The first game on Friday drew the Kootenay girls against a very good Victoria Y-league team and the girls were caught like deer in the headlights for the first half. Once they had settled down they put on a good display but could not make up the three goal deforest they gave the Victoria team, ending up losing 3-1.
Nelson’s Brittany Wheeler scored the Kootenays’ only goal direct from a free kick.
In the second game on Saturday morning the girls played Calgary Blizzard and should have walked away winning the game but missed chances came back to haunt the team and they lost 2-1.
Jaala Derochie hit the only goal for the Kootenys with a great half volley from the edge of the box, giving the keeper no chance as the ball zipped into the net.
The third game was finally a win against the Thompson/Okanagan Y-league U16 team, supposedly the cream of the B.C. Interior. The Kootenay girls put on a show and gave the Kelowna-based team a clinic with the ball, very rarely going in the Kootenay half.
A victory of only 1-0, but it could have been several.
Nelson’s Ameeta Bhabra netted for the Kootenay girls before being carried off with a serious knee injury. Other event-ending injuries to Taylor Stewart, Taylor McKinnon and Danika Bartlett came in this game.
The last game on Sunday morning saw the Kootenay squad play with basically 10 players the whole game with Stewart battling up front on one leg and holding her own.
The Coastal Y-league U16 team from the island had to struggle to beat the Kootenay girls. Though Kootenay took a 1-0 lead through quality finish from tournament MVP Andrea Stinson of Nelson they slowly took a hold on the game, coming out 3-1 winners over a very tired 10-player Kootenay squad.
For the Kootenay girls it was a great showing and they received compliments from college scouts, Whitecaps staff coaches and opposition coaches.
Elise Hewitt, Paige Mansveld, Larrisa Piva (keeper), Sam Einarson, Erica Augsten, Morag Peterson and Jessica Britton all stepped up and improved as the weekend progressed.
The girls’ next big tournament and their last for this season is in Burnaby, April 21 to 23 in the Western Canada Showcase event. The boys’ program is in Penticton April 1 to 3 and Seattle June 3 to 5.
Tryouts for next year’s regional program will commence in late July.
Call Soccer Quest for more information at 250-352-GOAL.