Soccer team thumps NWT

The Yukon girls’ soccer team ended the Canada Summer Games in PEI with a heartbreaking loss to NWT in week one, allowing a goal late in the game on an error.

Charlottetown, PEI

The Yukon girls’ soccer team ended the Canada Summer Games in PEI with a heartbreaking loss to NWT in week one, allowing a goal late in the game on an error.

On Friday it was payback time.

The boys’ team finished their week of competition with a 5-1 win over NWT, their first win of the Games.

“We scored on our chances that we were able to create in this game,” said Yukon boys’ head coach Jake Hansen. “We weren’t able to finish in our first three games; we had chances to score and didn’t. So

in the goal-scoring department we did improve.”

Having less tournament experience than most of their opposition throughout the Games, the boys’ team needed to overcome glitches in their play, particularly in maintaining a decisive defence. In fact, NWT

drew first blood midway through the first half as two Yukon defenders hesitated in their coverage.

“It’s funny because the one thing I tried to press upon our team was the importance of applying pressure,” said Hansen. “It was an indecisive moment; we just didn’t have guys going to the ball.”

However, the Yukon squad clearly decided that they wanted to win the game, as Harrison Ewing scored three times before the halftime whistle to make it 3-1.

“He played very well for us today; it was vey nice having him,” said Hansen.

Ewing, who missed the first two games of the week because of illness, began by outsprinting the NWT keeper to a loose ball to score, then pounced on a rebound off a shot by Stephen Dynes to put his team

ahead and finished the hat trick sliding with his leg out to jab in a roller over the goal-line.

Scoring the second-half goals were Ewing’s brother Walker and Coty Fraser. Named Yukon’s player of the game was playmaker Alex Johnston.

“He was just a force out there,” said Hansen. “He was our only centre-back; we decided to go with four defenders instead of five. He was left with that role and he just continually found a way to push into the

attack.

“From the back in both halfs he was winning balls and then starting the offence for us consistently.”

In a much tighter battle the previous night, Yukon held off Saskatchewan for almost 120 minutes before losing 1-0 in the second overtime.

“Our boys outchanced them,” said Hansen. “The boys were quite disappointed because they certainly had better scoring chances.”

Earlier in the week, Yukon lost to Nova Scotia 3-0 and to the pretournament favourite Quebec, 3-0. Surprising a lot of people in attendance for the Quebec game, the Yukon managed to keep the game

scoreless up to halftime despite facing a team with six players on the U-17 national team.

“To walk across the field to the locker room at halftime against the pretournament favourite, that had to be a real highlight for the guys,” said Hansen.

One might assume that the Yukon team might feel more pressure playing NWT, a team in which they had their best chance of victory, compared to playing a team like Quebec where no one expected a win,

but it was the opposite, according to Johnston.

“Before the game, it was a lot more relaxed than previous games we had; we were all tensed up for those,” said Johnston. “We all just got the jitters out and in the last game we just went out and had fun and

played around – we did and we got some goals doing it.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com