Two Whitehorse FC teams captured bronze at the Edmonton Slurpee Cup, June 2-4 in Alberta. But that’s not where the similarities end.
Both Whitehorse boys teams — one under-10 and one under-14 — opened with a loss to the eventual gold medal winners before winning their next two matches.
In addition to the tournament, which featured over 250 teams from throughout western Canada, both Whitehorse squads participated in clinics with high-level coaches.
“We also had two fantastic training sessions. One of them was with Len Vickery who is the long-standing head coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears soccer team and director of their Green and Gold Academy,” said Whitehorse FC U10 coach Grant Zazula in an email to the News. “We also had another training session with former Canada National U17 head coach Sean Fleming.”
The Whitehorse U10 team won bronze in Tier 2 — one of eight U10 divisions at the massive tourney.
They opened with a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton West Warriors. Mid-fielder Vhince Acosta scored for Whitehorse.
Whitehorse then topped Calgary’s McKenzie United Soccer Club 2-0 with goals from Declan Laliberty and Cameron Bringsli.
Whitehorse then picked up the bronze in a 5-0 win over the Calgary Rangers FC. Samuel Watson, Andrzej Benson, Roman Zazula, Owen McDonald and Acosta found the back of the net for Whitehorse.
Goalkeeper Yakov Zurachenko was in net for both shutouts.
“The squad was rounded out by great offensive efforts by Noah Bradford, Marwin Mamis, and Chris McCarron along with the solid play of Caleb Mercier, Lachlan Wood, and Oscar Wolosewich on defensive duties,” added Grant.
The Whitehorse FC U14 boys opened with a 4-1 loss to the Glastonbury Grasshoppers. Gavin Howells put Whitehorse on the board.
Like the U10s, the U14s notched a 2-0 win in their second match, downing the Rio Terrace X-Fire with goals from Howells and Jordan Stevens.
Whitehorse clinched the bronze in a tight 3-2 win over Dunluce. Howells had one goal and Stevens two in the match.
“Though only two players scored goals over the weekend tournament, a number of the other team members where threatening as at least four shots on goal hit the goal posts and stayed out of the net,” said team manager Michael Lauer in an email. “The whole team made a solid effort to support the team’s success in the tournament, many of the boys are already looking forward to the next outside tournament in the fall.”
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