The U14 Sunshine Coast Youth Soccer Association (SCYSA)’s Rep Boys Coastal Storm finally overcame a hurdle they have been trying to get over all year by winning Kelowna’s Icebreaker Tournament.
Last fall, the U14 Storm had eventual Division 1 West Champions North Vancouver Football Club Selects on the ropes with a 1-0 halftime lead, but a red card in the 29th minute proved too difficult to overcome, and the boys eventually lost to their rivals 3-1. In early April, and in the second game of the Coastal Cup Series, U14 Storm held eventual Coastal Cup Champion, Surrey United Eagles, to a thrilling 1-1 draw at full-time, only to lose in the second extra-time, just seven minutes away from penalty kicks.
But the skies would clear and the tide would change for the Coastal Storm when they headed out on the Coquihalla to participate at the Okanagan Icebreaker Tournament Easter long weekend (April 15 to 17). The U14 Storm easily handled Shuswap United in Friday’s opener, winning 4-0 and impressing the crowd with some stunning goals. The next day, U14 Storm scored on a penalty kick late in the second half to put away hosts Kelowna United 1-0. But, later that Saturday afternoon, the boys ran out of gas in the Okanagan sunshine and fell to Nelson United 3-1 in the last game of the round-robin portion of the tournament. Fortunately, with the two best records coming out of the preliminary stages of the tournament, U14 Storm was given the opportunity to a rematch with Nelson United in Sunday’s Championship Final.
The boys executed a more defensive 4-4-2 formation perfectly on Sunday, neutralizing Nelson’s talented centre-midfielder and two attacking forwards. The SCYSA U14 Boys Rep team would prevail with an incredible defensive effort and memorable header off a cross from the right wing. Finally, U14 Storm had overcome a hurdle that had troubled them all season by winning the “big game” and beating Nelson United in the finals, winning gold, and bringing some hardware back to the Coast to complete the 2021-22 season in style. With this win, U14 Storm look optimistically forward to next year, now acknowledging that they have the talent and the passion to win the big game when it counts.