A mixed team from two Yukon communities had to find their chemistry on the fly over the weekend. They seem to have discovered alchemy, too.
Dawson City-Haines Junction FC captured U-16 gold at the Yukon Soccer 2015 Outdoor Championships on Sunday at Vanier Catholic Secondary.
“I’ve worked a lot with our kids in Dawson on positioning and ball movement, team sportsmanship and team play,” said coach Irwin Gaw. “The kids from Haines Junction – we played with them a little bit, but of course it’s difficult for them to step in. So I met with them all and talked about how we were going to play and our systems of play and they came together really well.”
The DCHJ FC, which included nine players from Dawson and four from the Junction, won gold with a 3-2 win over Yukon Pump Sharp Shooters in the final.
The Dawson-Junction squad opened the final with three first-half goals before the Sharp Shooters made up ground in the second. Scoring for the communities squad were Sam Crocker, Ben Lorenz and Ethan Gaw.
DCHJ FC went undefeated in the championship, outscoring the competition 15-4 with some “awesome” defence.
They also had a young substitute goalkeeper who was a wall in the net.
“We picked up a young player, Callum Wier from Haines Junction, and he’s actually on 11 years old, but he was outstanding in goal,” said Irwin.
“It was fun to play that game. It was a well-played game by both teams,” he added. “It’s always great to see them come together and play well.”
All Terrane Mineral Services took the U-16 bronze when fourth place’s Shier Eagles had to forfeit due to a lack of players.
“At the beginning of the year we weren’t particularly a strong team; it took a while for us to come together,” said All Terrane coach Luka van Randen. “But by the end we had a fighting chance in each of the games we played in. We could have come out on top if we had a few more players – a lot of players were in the (Kluane Chilkat) bike relay.”
Marble Slab scoops up gold
The Marble Slab Creamery team had a season as delicious as their sponsor’s ice-cream.
The Creamery crew went undefeated all season on their way to taking U-13 gold on Sunday.
“They are the best group of kids I’ve ever coached … and I think I’ve coached 14 teams,” said Creamery coach Bruce Bennett. “They all played really well together and were really supportive of each other and really taught the other players how to play as a team. I think that’s what made us excel.”
Marble Slab scooped up the gold with a 5-2 win over The Deli. Their one blotch on their record was a 4-4 tie against bronze-winning Sport Yukon in the round robin.
“They were very good at playing as a team and passing and we had excellent goalkeeping (from Syth Charchun and Nathan Scully),” said Bennett. “It was really their camaraderie and their ability to play as a team. And they always seemed to have fun.
“The nice thing also was everybody cheers for everybody. Our games were always close, but we always seemed to pull it through, especially in the second half.”
Scoring for the Marble Slab in the final were Ashton Bryant, Nathan Scully, Oliver Paldy and Dawson Smith with two.
“What’s important is how hard the kids played, how they came together as a team in the final,” said Deli coach Chris Ross. “I was really proud of them.
“They had a hard-fought semifinal (against Sport Yukon). It was 0-0 after 60 minutes of regular play and 10 minutes of extra time, and it finally went down to the last penalty shot before we came out of it. We hadn’t defeated that team all season.”
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