The Peter Skene Ogden Eagles boys’ soccer team finished in second place at the seven-team Merritt Boys’ Soccer Tournament last Oct. 15-16.
Playing under mostly dry but cold conditions, the tournament was an excellent way to close out the fall season.
For the second consecutive week, it was a combined PSO – Lake City Secondary team, with five players from Williams Lake augmenting the PSO roster. Coaches Steven Keller and Sean Glanville saw another extraordinary effort by the fourteen boys, who played six games over two days.
The Eagles faced a very tough opponent in their opening match, Abbotsford Christian School, the eventual tournament winner. Behind a smothering defensive line and a standout performance from keeper Bruce Dohan, the Eagles played to a 0-0 draw before losing in a shootout.
“For the entire weekend, the discipline and effort from our back line was outstanding. The whole team’s defence continually frustrated opponents,” said Keller.
Game two saw the Eagles post a comfortable 3-0 win over Mount Currie on a Matthew Keller hat trick.
In game three, against an extremely strong split squad from Seaton Secondary of Vernon, the back line of Felix Pavlik, Nelson Swann, Logan Aird, and Mohamed Omer again frustrated their opponents, and keeper Bruce Dohan came up with several huge saves.
“It was great for our team to face that calibre of opponent,” said Keller. “Seaton has a number of players who also play in the BC Soccer Premier League, so the pace and pressure were new experiences for our team. We were hugely impressed that our players matched that.”
The game finished 0-0, but the Eagles lost in another shootout.
Game four saw the Eagles lose 1-0 against the other squad from Seaton Secondary. The strong defensive work continued with midfielders Lee Koch, Mion Kinogasa, Ashton Chretien, and Jensen Bauerosche providing excellent backchecking.
Saturday morning started with the Eagles dominating Hope Secondary 4-0 behind goals by Danton Enns, Ashton Chretien, Mion, and Matthew.
The Eagles closed out their tournament with a 5-1 win over Merritt. Damian Ma did an excellent job at right back, and Sam Bimbhra and Jeremy Labelle consistently forced Merritt to turn over the ball. Goal scorers were Lee with three, Danton, and Mion.
Over the weekend, the team gave up a total of only two goals over six games.
“Other coaches were complimenting our players on how hard they played, their organization, and how tough they were to break down defensively,” said Glanville. “All the players showed excellent character.”
The team finished the weekend with three wins, two shootout losses, and a loss in regular time. Bruce Dohan, the PSO goalkeeper, was named tournament all-star for the weekend.