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Wiens goes big for United
Vernon United dismantled Penticton Pinnacles 6-1 in a Thompson Okanagan Under 15 Boys Rep Soccer League showdown Sunday at Kings Park.
United (3-0) displayed a clinic of solid defence and counter-attacking strategy in a battle of undefeated teams.
“Our back line was solid all day long,” said Vernon coach Rolf Hirschkorn. “Joshua Gray, Peter Hirschkorn, Wyatt Carter, Kevin Thibault and Morgan Nichols thwarted and frustrated the Penticton attack.”
The first half was closely contested with Malcolm Wiens converting a corner from Shey Towney in the ninth minute, and 11 minutes later, Wiens unloaded a left-footed rocket far side.
Any thought the Pinnacles had of getting close in the second half was quickly squashed as Wiens completed the hat trick two minutes after the restart. He broke in alone after taking a sweet pass from Mees Geelkerken and finished from 18 yards.
Penticton burst the bubble 13 minutes later after collecting an errant goal kick. The Pinnacles then sustained a lot of pressure and possession, but Vernon keeper Harvey Pawsey was solid.
Wiens added a fourth before Gray slammed home his second of the season by finishing off a Wiens’ cross into the goal area from about six yards.
Charis Ondrik rounded out the scoring with a free kick from 25 yards that eluded everyone. Gavin Mason and Sam Eggert were also noted for their great play as defensive mids, while Connor London and Elias Jensen played well on the left side.
Added Hirschkorn, who is assisted by Erick Burnet: “It was nice to see the boys playing as a unit defensively. The years of coaching is starting to pay dividends.”
Vernon holds down first place with an impressive +16 goal differential. They visit the Kamloops Blaze Saturday and host Kelowna Sunday at Marshall Field #5 (4:45 p.m.)
In U14 boys play Sunday, the Kamloops Blaze brushed back Vernon 3-2 at Marshall #4.
Vernon started strong with Jarrod Latta scoring in the first minute, but the Blaze responded soon after with the equalizer. With minutes left to play in the opening half, a beautiful corner by Ben Purvis bounced off one of Vernon’s forwards and Latta tucked the ball in for a 2-1 lead.
The second half started with fierce back and forth runs but Kamloops levelled the score within five minutes. The Blaze kept pressing and registered the winner with 20 minutes remaining.
Vernon U13 boys grounded Shuswap 5-0 Sunday morning at Blackburn Park.
Some good passing and ongoing possession resulted in multiple scoring attempts for United in the first half with midfielders Shaun Boucher, Hunter Housego, Chris McIntosh, Cole Johnson and Kristian Newell feeding and circulating to defenders Joseph Neufeld, Oliver Meyer, Jaidyn Gordon-Mason and Lee Christiansen in addition to strikers Nick Purvis and Noah Podolski.
Excellent pressure from Vernon forwards Zack Laranjo and Newell left Taylor Boisvert with a good shot which just missed. Christensen and Podolski combined with a sweet cross to Purvis for a shot which just missed the left post.
Lee pushed down the right flank and fed a short cross to Purvis, who converted an amazing header for United’s first goal early in the second half.
Podolski upped United’s lead 15 minutes into the half as the keeper slipped and mishandled the shot. Laranjo picked off a cross through the middle and made it 3-0 before Cole Johnson sent a gorgeous corner in the box with Bryce Tkachuk nicely finishing. The fifth was an own goal after a great corner by Johnson.
In U13 girls action, Kelowna United shaded Vernon 2-1 Sunday at Parkinson Field #8.
Vernon’s strong defensive line of Emilia Durfeld, Kelsey Carriere, Sydney Bergman and Elena Gaskell held off numerous Kelowna chances in the first half until Kelowna put one in off a scramble after a corner in the late going.
Stand-in keeper Danica Ariano made multiple saves as Kelowna’s offence pressed late in the half.
Kelowna answered by stealing a loose ball in Vernon’s end to make it 2-1. Dynamic defensive play by Carly Southam and multiple Kelowna fouls helped keep the ball in Kelowna’s end for much of the second half. Vernon had some great runs but ran out of time.
U14 girls shut out Kelowna
United U14 girls improved to 2-0 with a strong 1-0 victory over Kelowna Sunday morning at Parkinson #8.
The teams were at zeroes until midway through the second half when Lydia Lavigne’s gorgeous corner found Mason Christensen’s head for the only score of the game. Shauna Bradley, though not tested often, was solid in goal and recorded her second shutout of the season.
U17 girls gain tie with Kamloops
In U17 girls, Vernon tied Kamloops 1-1 Sunday at windy Marshall #4 with Brianne Robertson scoring a tap in for Vernon.
Coach Michelle Hughes said keeper Waverly Vanderveen was sharp, while Dayce Knoff was bold up front and Lee Richardson and Tarah Smith were consistent at the back.
U12 #2 boys split pair
Vernon U12 #2 boys battled hard in a physical 3-2 loss to the Kamloops Blaze White Sunday morning at the KLO Sports Fields in Kelowna.
United goal scorers were Brodie Fraser, with a nice chip over the head of the Kamloops keeper, and Liam Reid, from Liam Glennon, on a stellar corner.
Kaden Funk, Luke Jones, Gavin Medema and Dawson Martian were solid forces and Man of the Match was Kobe Grant, who ran miles in the middle to shut down many counterattacks.
United bounced back in the afternoon by grounding Kamloops Orange 5-2 behind a hat trick from Glennon, named Man of the Match.
Ben Lesyk, with his first of the year, opened the scoring, and Keagan Carmicheal capitalized on a misplayed ball from the Kamloops keeper to net the second.
Glennon rounded out the second half with three snipes, the third a splendid stike from near midfield that found the top corner. Tysen Fairweather, Lucas Schuch and Ben Morgan shut down several Kamloops attacks in support of a solid Logan Quibel.
U12 #1 boys collect three points
United Boys U12 #1 earned three out of four points Sunday with a 3-2 win over Kamloops White and a 1-1 tie with Penticton.
United posted a come-from-behind victory as Isaiah Ondrik opened the scoring, and William Oordt-Bosman netted a pair.
Nate Paskiewich was glorious in the midfield, Connor Hansen was marvellous on defence, and Man of the Match Kevin Morgan thwarted a baker’s dozen of scoring chances to keep United in the game.
Against Penticton, Vernon completely dominated and only workhorse Ondrik was able to find the back of the net. Aiden Skinner and Saajan Klair turned in outstanding performances, and Ben Imrich and Josh Mckeown ran big miles up front.