They fielded a shorthanded squad, and a theme quickly developed: What the 100 Mile House girls’ U18 rep soccer team lacked in numbers, they made up for in heart.
The team went 0-4 at the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association’s Slurpee Cup May 17-19, but the girls made an impression nonetheless.
“During the [MVP] presentations from the opposing coaches… each of them were extremely impressed on how hard our girls worked, how well they did together as a team and the overall heart they played with,” says coach Tory Anchikoski. “The Kamloops coach even explained that he has never seen such hard work and dedication from a team and was really happy that his girls had a chance to play against them.”
After dropping games to the European Football School, based in North Vancouver, Burnaby and Edmonton, while playing with minimum subs or no subs at all, 100 Mile House took on Kamloops, a team with 19 players. 100 Mile was two players short for the first half before Kamloops matched their numbers for the second.
It was their best game of the tournament, the coach explains.
“I was blown away by the girls stamina, heart and overall passion. Every single girl played very well and extremely hard. They all pushed themselves right to the bitter end. The passes, plays, checking and an outstanding performance in net by Tiffany Keating – her come back game and she only has played in net once prior to this – in this last game was the reason the score was not very high as the other games.”
A 100 Mile House U14 girls’ team also took the field in Kamloops.
Just 12 of the squad’s 17 player were able to attend, which made the four games pretty difficult, explains coach Hilary Gosnell.
The team played Quesnel to a 0-0 draw with the help of goalie Alison Carr, who won the game’s MVP and stopped many shots and breakaways.
Olivia Poggenpohl won MVP in the second game against Kamloops, a 5-0 loss for 100 Mile House.
“By Sunday (May 18), the strain of being short players and up against physical teams had created some injuries on our team but the 100 Mile House Storm stayed strong against a very quick Terrace team,” says Gosnell. “Terrace managed to squeeze an early lead but the girls quickly adapted to the pace and really started to come together as a team. We had a greatly improved second half in that game, which made me incredibly proud of our team’s attitude.”
Carr was picked for MVP in that 0-4 loss. The coach says “it was well deserved as she was up against a firing squad in that game.”
On May 19, 100 Mile House lost 3-1 against the West Coast Auto Group Flyers, and scored its lone goal of the tournament.
“Ashley Holyk dropped a textbook corner kick into the 18 yard box where left midfielder Lydia Kinasewich was waiting to put a knee on the ball and send it to the back of the net.”
Sydni Poggenpohl won MVP.
“The tournament definitely ended on a high note for me,” Gosnell adds. “We had only played Quesnel in two matches prior to this, so finally getting to see the girls play as a team, get tested physically and then persevere was very rewarding. It’s great to know that these girls are ready to play hard and have fun, and while we may not always be competitive against larger teams, we will definitely be in the running for ‘most improved’ team by the end of the season.”