Soccer teams battle at first championship in Haines Junction

For the first time ever, a Yukon soccer championship was held outside the territory's capital and former capital over the weekend.

For the first time ever, a Yukon soccer championship was held outside the territory’s capital and former capital over the weekend.

Haines Junction became the third community to host a championship tourney with the U11 Yukon Soccer Championships, which wrapped up Sunday.

The tournament featured two Whitehorse teams, one from Dawson City and the hosting Haines Junction Eagles.

“It was great to see 43 kids actively involved in soccer for the weekend,” said Eagles head coach and tournament organizer Cindi Cowie. “It was pretty cool.”

Dawson coach Irwin Gaw expressed some disappointment that only two Whitehorse teams made the trip when his came all the way down from the Klondike. In fact, his team never misses a championship.

“We always go down to the Yukon championships,” said Gaw. “I’ve been doing this for 22 years now and I’ve been bringing kids teams down for the Yukon championships. I don’t think I’ve missed a year in those 22 years.

“We’ve had two outdoor championships here and each year Whitehorse Minor Soccer has only been able to get two teams to come up, which is a little disappointing. Haines Junction also came up when we had the championships here, so I wanted to equal the effort Haines Junction made. There was no way we wouldn’t go down there.”

After some trading of players to even out the teams, Whitehorse’s Yukon Outfitters went undefeated en route to taking gold and the territorial title.

The Outfitters defeated Dawson T.H. 8-1 in the final with Ben Kishchuk scoring five goals.

“He’s a very talented soccer player,” said Outfitters coach Doug Petriw. “He works real hard, is very talented with the ball, he knows how to make things happen. He plays two ways: scoring goals in one end and stopping goals at the other.”

Joey Lorenz scored for Dawson’s lone goal in the final.

“He played goalie for most of the tournament and he really wanted to come out, so he came out in the second half and scored our only goal,” said Gaw.

The Eagles played without one their best players, Dawson Weir, who was out with a knee injury, but still managed to claim the bronze.

The junction squad captured bronze with a 4-2 win over Whitehorse’s Home Sweet Home Baking.

Eagles Trevor Jones had two goals while Callum Wier and Jay Symanski each contributed individual ones.

The Haines Junction team won the U11 division at the 2013 NorthwesTel Indoor Soccer Championships this past March in Whitehorse.

“It was a good four-team tournament,” added Gaw. “It was a lot of fun.”

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