Despite lightning strikes in the morning that interrupted games at Lakeside Park and smoke from nearby forest fires that clouded the sky, the second day of the U-13 to U-15 Girls Soccer Provincial B Cup continued to much fanfare on Friday.
In the 8 a.m. game, the U-13 Selects fell 4-1 to the Cliff Avenue Snipers while the Kootenay South Storm lost 4-1 to Kelowna United.
The afternoon games produced mixed results for the Nelson U14 and U15 Selects in the thick, humid air on the shoreline pitches at Lakeside Park.
Needing to rebound from an tournament opening loss to Kelowna in order to have a shot at the bronze medal game, the U14 Selects were matched against Surrey United Infinity.
“Surrey came out strong right and were first to the ball,” said U14 coach Rob Bohri.
Surrey scored first early in the opening half, but Nelson striker Amreesa Bhabra tied the contest. Surrey again took the lead, but late in the half Rylee Zondervan broke free on a play that eventually tied the score at twos.
Surrey again came out firing in the second half and managed to take the lead early. As time was winding down, Bhabra finished a crossing play when she pounced on a loose ball to tie the game 3-3.
The tie means that Saturday afternoon’s game against local rival Kootenay South has huge repercussions as a win gives Nelson a shot at the bronze medal game.
“The girls are good at fighting back when they are down, we have shown that all year,” said Bohri. “I want to see them have a good game tomorrow and we will see what happens.”
Coming off a big opening game 1-nil win against North Shore, the Nelson U15 Selects were looking to continue the momentum against a powerful Vernon United side.
One of the pre-tournament favourites, Vernon came out strong from the opening whistle. A penalty kick 12 minutes into the first half led to a goal that dribbled into Nelson’s net to give Vernon the lead. Two minutes later, Nelson benefited from a penalty from 20 yards out and midfielder Sofia Arcuri floated a perfect shot over the Vernon keeper’s head.
Vernon controlled play in the first half and Nelson keeper Hanna Quinn made a huge save late in the half to keep it close and the opening 40 minutes ended 1-1.
Vernon again came out strong in the second half, scoring on a scramble in front of the goal to make it 2-1.
A key point in the game came 25 minutes into the half when Nelson’s Jodi Surina clanged one off the crossbar preserve the Vernon lead. Six minutes after that, Vernon went ahead 3-1 when Nelson was unable to clear a corner scramble from the 18-yard box.
Pressing to get back into the game late, Nelson gave up a fourth goal late to make the final 4-1.
“They capitalized on their opportunities and we missed a couple of good chances,” said U15 Coach Paul Burkart. “We played so well yesterday and didn’t have our best game today. That is a great team and you have to play your best in order to have a chance to beat them.”
The U15 Selects still have a chance at the gold medal game if they can manage to beat Kelowna United and Vernon loses to North Shore.
See more photos from this afternoon’s action at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.960828580644657.1073741831.108413905886133&type=3
Meanwhile, at the Les Sinnott Memorial Boys Provincial Cup in 100 Mile House, the U13 Nelson Selects enjoyed a day off with a bye, while the U14 Selects fell 3-2 to Prince George, dropping them to 0-2. The U15 Selects lost a 2-1 decision against the Saanich Fusion and are now 0-2 as well.
At the Les Sinnott Memorial Girls Provincial B Cup in Penticton, the U16 Nelson Selects lost 5-1 to Kelowna United, evening their record at 1-1-0. The U18 Nelson Selects played to a scoreless draw against the Williams Lake Storm, leaving them undefeated at 1-0-1 and tied for first in their pool.
(Below)The U-13 Kootenay South Storm team faced off against the Poco Castillans on Friday afternoon. (Will Johnson photos)