Pinns U17 boys challenged by speed

XAVIER NADEAU of the Penticton Pinnacles FC under-17 team tries to get the inside track on Kamloops under-18 Menno Burnet in Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League play June 1 at King’s Park. Kamloops won 5-1.  - Emanuel Sequeira/Western News
XAVIER NADEAU of the Penticton Pinnacles FC under-17 team tries to get the inside track on Kamloops under-18 Menno Burnet in Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League play June 1 at King’s Park. Kamloops won 5-1.
— image credit: Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

Pinnacles FC coach Paulo Araujo doesn’t always focus on results with his under-17 boys soccer team.

“It’s about developing them to know how to play the game,” the coach said after watching his team lose 5-1 to the Kamloops under-18 squad at King’s Park Sunday.

Pinnacles FC U17 now has four wins, six losses and two ties in Thompson Okanagan Youth Soccer League play.

The Pinnacles spent much of the first half defending and trying to prevent Kamloops’ offensive weapons from getting close to goalkeeper Brady van Ryswyk who kept them in the game. The second half played out like the first, but Jarrod Mendonca did score for the Pinnacles on a penalty shot.

Playing older teams has been a challenge for Araujo’s squad. He said Kamloops has bigger, stronger and faster players and Araujo said it takes a season to adapt. Several of his players are in their first year of district play.

“I’m seeing improvements,” said Araujo, who earlier in the season said he needed to get his players used to their system. “The results might not show, but I think they are getting stronger. It will be interesting when we go into playoffs and actually play at our age group and see how we do.”

The Pinnacles FC are playing in a division combined with under-16 to 18 teams, three of which are in the higher age group. Against under-17 teams, Pinnacles FC is 2-0-2. Against under-16 teams, they are 1-2, with both losses against Kamloops and against the higher age group, the team is 1-4.

Araujo said his players are improving their ball possession time and have moments when they do, especially playing in their age group. They create more offensive chances.

“Against older teams that are faster, we’re just not quick enough to make those decisions with the ball,” he said. “You just have to be faster. They are not there yet.”

Pinnacles FC had a makeup game at King’s Park Thursday evening against Salmon Arm’s under-18 team, then they wrap up the regular season Sunday against Kelowna U16, 3 p.m. at King’s Park 3.

“That will be a good test to see how we do,” said Araujo. “Good measure how we do there to see if we are ready for the playoffs.”

In other Pinnacles FC action, in the boys league, the under-13 squad used home field advantage to defeat Vernon 3-0, the under-14 team beat up on Vernon 5-0 at King’s Park and the under-15 team shutout Kelowna 3-0 at King’s Park.

In the girls divisions, Pinnacles FC under-12 team one earned a 1-1 draw against Vernon then lost 3-1 to Kelowna in Kamloops. The under-12 No. 2 squad shut out Vernon 2-0, then bowed to Kelowna’s B team 5-0. The under-13 team lost 3-0 to Shuswap on May 31, the under-14 team lost 6-0 to Kamloops Blue in Kamloops on May 31, the under-15 team picked up a 5-1 win against Revelstoke on the road and the under-17 shutout Kamloops Orange 2-0 on the road.

This is the final weekend of regular season action, then the playoffs begin.


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