The Peter Skene Ogden Eagles senior boys soccer team bounced back from a slow start to win their final two games to finish fifth out of ten at the Hope Secondary Invitational Tournament on Sept. 29 and 30.
Unfortunately, the Eagles could only muster 11 players for the weekend which meant no subs for all six games.
“Those 11 guys played extremely well and represented the school well. Having four games on the Friday and no subs a lot of our top guys were cramping up but managed to hang in there the best they could,” says PSO coach Sean Glanville.
The Eagles were in a tough pool which included both tournament finalists Unity Christian of Chilliwack and Abbotsford Christian.
In game one Friday morning the Eagles dropped a 2-0 decision to Unity Christian.
In game two the Eagles tied 0-0 with Pemberton Secondary. Stephen Theodore Jensen earned the shutout in goal.
In game three PSO blew a 2-1 lead and fell 3-2 to Merritt Secondary. Nolan Nicol scored both Eagles’ goals.
In their final round robin game the Eagles dropped a 3-1 decision to Abbotsford Christian. Cameron Ardiel tallied the lone marker for PSO.
After going winless Friday, the Eagles dropped down to the consolation round Saturday to play from fifth to 10th spot.
“All season we’ve had a habit of losing close games and have trouble finishing our chances like we did on Friday,” said Glanville.
“The boys were competitive in all the games but having no subs began to take its toll on them.”
PSO bounced back Saturday morning with a 2-1 victory over Fort St. James. Nicol notched his second two goal game of the tournament to bring his tally to four. Trey Wandler was the winning netminder for PSO.
In their final game the PSO boys, who had lost both previous meetings with Merritt Secondary this season, got a chance at redemption. Riley Koch opened the scoring for his first ever PSO goal to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Merritt bounced back to tie the game 1-1 heading into half time. In the second half Nicol exploded for four goals and Ardiel added another as PSO played their best soccer of the tournament on their way to a 6-2 victory.
“I knew we were capable of beating some of these teams so getting a pair of wins Saturday and to go from losing to Merritt to beating them 6-2 put the team in good spirits for the ride home,” says Glanville.
“Nolan was on fire, we’ve never had a player score even half that many goals at a tournament before.”
Nicol ended up as the tournament’s leading scorer with 8 goals total.
Adam Sullivan and Kurt Wandler were solid all weekend playing as the two central defenders and outside defense Josh Hutchins played his best soccer of the year. Hunter O’Connor, Lee Machete and Kieran Emery all made solid contributions to the squad as well.
PSO’s next soccer will be a home and away series with Lillooet Secondary October 16 and 18 and then they travel to Prince George for the zone championships October 22-23.