After qualifying out of the north central zone, Williams Lake rep soccer teams recently competed at their respective provincial championships.
Both the boys under-18 Storm and the girls under-18 Storm, plus the U16 girls Storm, the U14 girls Storm and the U14 boys Storm all sent teams to various parts of the province July 9-12 for provincials.
For the under-18 girls, their tournament ended in heartbreak after narrowly missing a bronze medal win at the Les Sinnott Memorial Provincial Cup in Penticton.
The team started its tournament with two wins, no losses and a tie during the round robin to finish in first place in their pool tying the Nelson Selects, 0-0, beating the Columbia Valley Titans, 3-1 and edging the Powell River Edge, 2-1.
In the bronze medal game Williams Lake fell to Pinnacles FC, 2-0.
On the U18 boys side Williams Lake played to a sixth-place finish at the tournament, also in Penticton.
Williams Lake tied the Columbia Valley Titans 0-0, lost to Pinnacles FC 4-1, then tied Coastal FC 1-1 before falling to Cowichan Valley, 3-2, in the final.
U18 Storm head coach Brian Hansen said he was pleased with how his players conducted themselves on the pitch and noted the team brought home the most sportsmanlike award from the tournament.
“We had 11 players from Williams Lake and five from Quesnel which was great,” Brian said. “Our third game in our pool against Penticton, who ended up winning our age group, was a great game. They had dominated all their previous games but our group really made them work for it.”
He said multiple injuries in the final also hindered the team’s end result.
“Overall the boys played outstanding given the amount of time they have had to practice together and every single player put in 100 per cent all four games,” he said. “In talking with the technical director for Penticton, he was very impressed with the quality of our players and was impressed with how well all our teams played the game.”
Meanwhile, the under-14 girls Storm were in Nelson. Williams Lake dropped its first three games, however, rebounded to upset Surrey United Infinity, 2-1, on penalty kicks to finish seventh.
“In our first two games we were up 1-0 at halftime,” said U14 girls coach Vanessa Hansen. “The girls played extremely solid and structurally looked real good. Unfortunately, we made a few mental mistakes in the second halves which cost us a few goals.
“They were all nail-biting games and the girls proved they could not only compete, but were capable of beating any team they faced.”
At the U14 boys tournament in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake battled to a fifth-place result with a 1-0 win over the Prince George Timberwolves in its last match.
Williams Lake opened with a 6-1 win over 100 Mile, then tied Pinnacles FC 1-1 before falling to Cowichan Blackout, 2-1.
U14 boys coach Rob Tazelaar said each game was intense and added the team narrowly missed out on playing for a medal.
“Each game was competitive and the boys dominated large stretches in each game,” Tazelaar said. “Our group was so tight that if we had beat Penticton (Pinnacles) by one goal in our final game we would have been playing for third/fourth, and if we would have beat them by two goals we would have been playing for first/second.”
Lastly, the U16 girls Storm finished their tournament, also hosted in Penticton, in eighth place after falling 2-0 to Prince George, 4-3 to Pinnacles FC, 4-1 to Chilliwack Attack and 3-0 to Burnaby Intensity.