Morning Star Staff
The Vernon Tolko United U14 Boys rallied to brush off the host Penticton Pinnacles 3-2 Friday in the Thompson-Okanagan Rep Soccer League playdowns at Kings Park.
Penticton jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first half after coming out strong in front of the home crowd.
Vernon came out after the break and pushed back, cutting the lead in half when Lucien Desmazes-Landry found the back of he net.
The goal boosted Vernon’s confidence, and shortly after, Brad Cramer busted through the Pinnacles’ defence to level the score on a nice breakaway.
Vernon kept pressing and with five minutes to go, they finished the comeback when power forward Aidan Buckley notched the winner.
Kaden Funk recorded a goal-saving header to keep the lead for Vernon. Luc Jones was strong on defence and Jack Cotter was strong in midfield.
Vernon played Kelowna United on Saturday. The winner advances to the Provincial B Cup.
In U13 Boys play Friday, the Kamloops Blaze eliminated Vernon 2-0.
Vernon came out sharp with many chances in the first half with Kamloops converting near the break. The Blaze added insurance in the late minutes.
Head coach Rick Ogasawara had nothing but praise for his squad.
“Looking back from where we started to where we are today, we won,” said Ogasawara, who noted he loved coaching the boys and thanked the parents for giving him support.
Meanwhile, Vernon Kal Tire rolled over first-place Penticton Pinnacles 2-0 in Kelowna Tree Brewing Men’s 35+ Soccer League play Thursday night at City Park.
Mark zaino posted his second shutout in as many weeks in a heavy wind in Kelowna.
It took about 20 minutes for Kal Tire to strike when Ryan Sharp stole the ball and fed Kevin Lines, who one-timed it to Chris (Shake&Bake) Ovens, who finished with a great shot top cheese.
A few minutes later, Ovens found the ball on his foot in the six-yard box for an easy touch into the net.
In the second half, Penticton (9-2) pushed hard In the second half but the 5-5 Kal Tire defence was up to the challenge and Zaino made a few key stops.
Kal Tire goes up against the Mission Cleaners next Thursday at Mission Sportsfields #13 (6:30 kick-off).
The Cleaners (2-8-1) were grounded 8-0 by the Salmon Arm Beer Badgers Thursday night at Blackburn Park. The Beer Badgers are 7-5.
Alves Brothers upended Company FC 3-1 at Mission #14, improving to 8-3-1. Company is 1-11.