Despite letting a 4-1 lead shrivel down to a single goal in the second half, Impact Well Drilling coach Peter Grundmanis feels it’s the best he’s seen his team play.
“It was our best game of the year,” said Grundmanis. “They’re starting to get the hang of full-field play. Every time you play a game there’re new situations that come up on a big field like that, so they’re just learning that.”
Still adapting to the transition from half- to full-field, Impact managed to hold on for a 5-4 win over Coates Services in U-12 soccer play at the Vanier field on Wednesday.
“It looked like we were going to walk away with it but then it was a little closer at the end,” said Grundmanis. “That’s typical of especially this group. They get a lead and it’s like, ‘If we can just hang on,’ but they keep coming and coming.
“And (Coates Services) was dominating the play—and sometimes it’s hard to clear it out of bounds and it goes up the middle and they pop it in the net.
“They’re young and sometimes they don’t know what to do when (the opposition) starts pushing.”
Although Impact took the win, the majority of play in the second half was in their end, with Coates pressuring the defence and getting corner kicks.
“I think we were playing well but they countered—we’d be controlling the play and all of a sudden they’d get a break and score,” said Coates Services coach John Pereira.
Finding the back of the net for Drilling were Benjamin Grundmanis, Michael Asp, Delany Paul, and Jesse Berizan with two.
For Coates, Alex Hansen led the charge with three goals and Aiden Allen produced a solo goal on a penalty shot.
For his decisiveness and aggressive play Manuel Kuipers was named Drilling’s MVP.
“I was really impressed by the way he didn’t hesitate, especially hanging out in mid-field,” said Grundmanis. “His job is to pounce on balls that are slightly loose, and he made good decisions today to push forward, control the ball and he gave us a lot of scoring chances.”
Getting the corresponding nod on the Coates bench was Katheryn Fortune, playing right striker in the second half.
“She was doing some good running,” said Pereira. “For some kids (playing full-field) is a bit of an adjustment, but she’s coming along.”
Sportslife 5, Alkan Air 3
Sportslife scorers: Trygg Jensen 2, Stephanie Avery 2, Peter Joe Jensen 1, MVP Rachel Kinvig
Alkan scorers: Dylan Reed 1, Cole Morris 1, Ryan Chipett 1, MVP Jasmine Potvin
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com