Lake City Falcons senior boys soccer team head coach Dragan Jukic said he was proud of the way his players competed last weekend in Dawson Creek at the North Central Zone Championships.
With a berth at the ‘AAA’ provincial championships on the line for the winning team, the Falcons fell one place shy of qualifying, finishing the tournament in second place.
“It was a good experience,” Jukic said. “My team is very young — 14 and 15 year olds. Overall, we fought hard and played good soccer and the boys enjoyed it and had fun. I was proud of them.”
The Falcons opened its tournament with a tough 7-2 loss to the eventual zone winners, Fort St. John.
“We played well, but just got caught by surprise,” he said. “They came out strong in the first 15 minutes and scored five goals quick. They were up 7-0, but I talked to the boys and just told them to keep the pressure on and we scored two in the second half, but it was too late for us.”
Jacob Helminger and Justin Foster tallied for the Falcons in the contest.
Next, Williams Lake defeated Dawson Creek, 5-3. Christian Pena scored three times and Helminger added two in the win.
In the semifinal they again squared off with Dawson Creek, taking a 4-2 victory with Helminger scoring twice and Patrick Kniec and Jack Zavitz each adding singles to advance the Falcons to the final.
There, they had an opportunity for revenge against Fort St. John, however, Jukic said injuries caught up with the team and they fell, 7-1.
“They played as a team and that’s what I was looking for,” he said.
“They came together, never got down on each other and stayed positive until the end.
“That’s what I admired from the boys.”