Hampered by injuries, Vernon United limped into a sixth-place finish at the B.C. Under 14 Boys Soccer Championships last weekend at Kings Park in Penticton.
After winning their opening round-robin game against Penticton Friday, the injuries began piling up for United when the faced Prince George that night. They lost backfielders Jordan Dewing and Jason Reich, but salvaged a 1-1 draw.
Down a goal, Lucas Ross scored a picture-perfect penalty kick for the offence, while the depleted back line kept the Prince George from generating any further chances. Rookie keeper Bryce Dyck played like a seasoned veteran in place of injured Cole Shoemaker, coming up with some key saves.
Saturday morning, Vernon played well against Terrace, but fell 4-2.
United dominated possession and kept the ball in the offensive zone for most of the first half, but headed to the intermission trailing 2-1.
Ross again supplied Vernon’s offence with a solid strike from the edge of the box.
The second half started with star striker Zach Kronbauer leaving the game with a sprained ankle, and Terrace capitalized with two more goals before United speedster Matt Kreutz broke the line and connected on a beautiful strike going far side.
Vernon and Terrace had the same record, but Terrace advanced to the bronze-medal game with the win.
In the fifth-place relegation game, Vernon lost a heartbreaker on penalty kicks.
With Vernon’s twin towers, Kronbauer and Dewing, watching from the sidelines with ice bags on their injuries, United never gave up and played to the last whistle.