The Quesnel Denny’s Strikers, Williams Lake Storm and Prince George Kodiaks joined forces this past Easter weekend to enter a U14 girls team in the Kelowna Icebreaker Soccer Tournament.
The team, named Cariboo United, consisted of eight Quesnel players, three Williams Lake players and two Prince George players under the direction of coaches Dave Blagdon, Gilbert Schotel and manager Beth Moore.
The team played two games on April 6, the first being a 3-0 victory over the Kelowna Eagles. Scoring for Cariboo United were Mitchell Edpath, Maneesha Johal and Christina Grob.
During the second game the Abbotsford Tornados came from behind for a 2-1 win after Christina Grob scored the first goal from a free kick early in the second half.
The Cariboo United team entered their last round robin game Saturday afternoon in a must-win situation in order to qualify for the gold-medal match on Sunday. They fell behind early when their opponent, Kamloops, was awarded a penalty shot for a handball.
Luck would turn the other way moments later when the Cariboo girls were awarded a penalty shot of their own. However, late in the half they were again trailing 2-1 after Kamloops found the back of the net. During the second half the girls brought new energy to the game and controlled most of the play.
They were again awarded a penalty shot and tied the game at two a piece. Despite steady pressure, they were denied the go ahead goal. The match was settled with a best of five shoot out.
After Jadyn Legere, Mitchell Redpath, and Samantha Sameit each scored and keeper Haley Schotel denied four of Kamloops’ attempts, the match was awarded to the Cariboo United.
The gold medal match was a rematch with the Abbotsford Tornados.
The Tornados took an early lead off a free kick just out side 18 yard box. Jadyn Legere ensured the team went into half time even when she scored off a corner kick late in the half. During the second half, the defensive team of Morgan Lord, Christina Grob, Keeanna Bautista, Sophia Stoldt, Emily Blagdon and keeper Haley Schotel played a flawless game while midfielders Morgan Moore, Jadyn Legere, Brittany Grob, Samantha Sameit and strikers Maneesha Johal, Melissa Styran, and Mitchell Redpath put unrelenting pressure on the Tornados. Johal would score the go ahead goal and Sameit sealed the deal with number three. Cariboo United took the Gold medal in the 3-1 victory.
“Even though the players were from three different communities they played extremely well together and worked as a team,” said coach Gilbert Schotel. “From the solid performance of both keepers (Morgan Moore and Haley Schotel) to the speed of the strikers, this was a true team effort.”
Game MVPs were awarded to Mitchell Redpath (2), Keeanna Bautista, and Haley Schotel. The tournament MVP went to Christina Grob for her four goals.