The Williams Lake Lightning men’s soccer team were crowned champions for the fourth consecutive year at the 21st annual Revelstoke Big Bear Soccer Tournament this past weekend.
The men’s side featured 13 teams from across B.C. and Alberta including sides from Banff, Canmore, Golden, Revelstoke, Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops, Nelson, Nakusp, Invermere and Williams Lake.
Revelstoke was dealt heavy rain the entire weekend which made for extremely wet conditions.
The Lightning was also weary that all teams were gunning for the three-time defending champions and there would be no easy game this time around.
“All the teams get up a little more for the game when they play us; they want to be the team that ends our run,” said striker Ryan Glanville.
Williams Lake was placed in Pool B with Kelowna and Invermere. They picked up a 3-0 victory over Invermere in their opening game Saturday morning with Glanville scoring a pair and Chris Monteleone adding a single.
In game two later on in the day the Lightning downed Kelowna 3-1 to win their pool and earn a spot in Sunday’s semifinal. Glanville scored another pair with Monteleone adding the other in the contest.
Williams Lake took on Vernon Dynamite in the semis and Glanville finished with his third straight two-goal game. He notched a pair of second half goals from a free kick and a penalty shot to put the Lightning into the final.
Williams Lake took on Canmore United in the final, a re-match from last year’s final which the Lightning took by a 3-1 score.
For the final, Williams Lake were down to only 11 healthy players due to injury so they would have no subs.
“By the finals it’s our fourth game in just over 24 hours and we’re tired and sore, and with no subs we knew we had to play with a lot of heart. Canmore always bring about 18 quality players and we knew they wanted revenge after last year,” Glanville said.
The Lightning were able to withstand some early pressure from their Alberta counterparts before Glanville set up Monteleone for a pair of goals about 10 minutes apart late in the first half.
Williams Lake would go on to earn a 2-0 victory and capture the cheque for top prize.
It was the Lightning’s sparkling defensive work that was the key to victory, allowing only a single goal in four games.
Goalkeeper Mike Norris had three shutouts and the backline anchored by Sean Glanville, Luke Mojer, Craig Latin, and Kevin Ayres was solid all weekend.
Midfielders Dale Latin, Geoff Buchanan, and Jay Voth won a number of vital battles all weekend, as well.
This was the second tournament in a row the Lightning captured this summer.
They were victorious May long weekend at the Penticton Invitational Tournament. They won the 11-team tournament by defeating the Pacific Coast Soccer League side and home team Penticton Pinnacles 1-0 in the final.
They will look for a perfect sweep of all three tournaments this summer at their next showing, the Kamloops Invitational during the August long weekend.