The Sunshine Coast Youth Soccer Association has been battling the elements the past few weeks with everything from rain to wind to glorious sunshine as they held their year-end division tournaments.
For the recent U12 boy’s tournament, fantastic weather greeted players at Langdale Elementary School.
The tournament results coincided with league play with the top two teams of the league facing off in the final with Team Orange from Sechelt beating Team Yellow from Halfmoon Bay/Pender Harbour.
The third-place game was won 4-1 by Team Navy over Team Green.
Navy opened the scoring on a strike from Matthew Stranaghan and then Matthew Browton extended the lead to 2-0 10 minutes later with Green countering quickly, bringing it back to 2-1. Jude Martin then curled in a corner kick off a defender, bringing the buffer back to a two-goal margin. Green then launched an all-out attack that could have resulted in several goals had it not been for the outstanding play of William Stevenson in goal for Navy. Matthew Brownton then converted once more off a cross from Nicolas Browton just before time expired.
The U18 tournament consisted of one final game, blending the four small teams to create two. Bob Morgan’s Team C sided with Mike Hug and Micah Smith’s Team D to make up one team, and Kai Wagner’s Team B joined forces with Niels Payne’s season-winning Team A to create the other team.
The tournament game was fabulously fought, and a true nail-biter, given that Team C-D tied and then scored the winning goal, all within the final minutes of the game in the 4-3 final.
Sunshine, competitive games, penalty shootouts and a hard-fought final game capped a great weekend of U15 girl’s soccer at Kinnikinnick March 9 to 10.
Although staged as a round robin, the tournament culminated in a fitting finale, as both unbeaten teams happened to meet last. Gibsons Navy Blue prevailed, beating the Red Hot Chili Peppers of Roberts Creek/Gibsons 3-1.
Coach Ian Armstrong’s Navy Blues had already won the league and started like champions, blitzing the Chili Peppers’ net with three early goals from Charli Johnston, Emma Rayner and Asha Wareham.
Determined to make a fight of it, the Reds clawed their way back. A fine solo run by winger Taylor Boots Whittall created havoc in the Blues’ penalty area, ending with the ball scrambled over the line to make it 3-1 at the half.
Fed a diet of Skittles, oranges and Katy Perry lyrics by Reds’ coach Neville Judd at halftime, the Chili Peppers returned to the pitch energized, but unable to score.
Goalie Charlotte Buhr had made the Navy Blues’ net a fortress all weekend, conceding only two goals in four games. Attack proved to be the Reds’ best form of defence, and the score remained 3-1 at the final whistle.
All five teams had moments to celebrate during the tournament. Shelbi McDonell’s Orange team from Sechelt/Halfmoon Bay can count themselves as the only other team besides Team Red to actually score on Team Navy. They also won the tournament sportsmanship award.
Pender Harbour’s Teal team coached by Josh Young shook off a disappointing Saturday to win both games on Sunday to finish third. Sam Angus’ battling Yellow team from Sechelt/Roberts Creek was a match for any opponent, and won a gripping penalty shootout versus Team Orange.
Girls from up and down the Sunshine Coast converged in Sechelt on March 9 and 10 to battle it out in the round robin tournament.
Thankfully, the weather cooperated, making the four games each team had to play on Saturday no less gruelling, but a lot dryer. All five teams battled hard for a spot in the finals, but it was the Green team and Yellow team (Strikers) that made it through to the final on Sunday at Hackett.
A quick game pace was established as both teams refused to show any effect from the four games played the previous day.
Spirits were high and the play was back and forth as both teams skillfully moved the ball downfield to within striking position. In the end it was the Strikers who found the finish and the game ended in a 3-0 win. A team effort won the game as individual skill took a back seat to playing as a unit.