Strikers give strong second halfs at club nationals

The Yukon Strikers U14 girls team needs a little more get-up-and-go when they take to the soccer pitch.

The Yukon Strikers U14 girls team needs a little more get-up-and-go when they take to the soccer pitch.

Slow starts with lacklustre first halfs hurt the team at the 2013 National Club Championships last week at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.

“I’m pretty happy actually,” said Strikers coach Tony Gaw. “We’re slow starters. The girls were very nervous to start and it was difficult for them to start strong.

“In the second half, they always came out strong and the game sheets show we kept all the other teams to a tie or we were outplayed by one goal in the second half of four of the games we played.”

Though the Strikers went winless while competing for the U14 Cup at the nationals, their trip was not without a high point.

The Strikers had a 0-0 tie with Summerside United SC from P.E.I. on Saturday. Summerside United went on to place second last, just ahead of Yukon, as decided by the two teams’ goal differential at the tournament.

Yukon goalkeeper Jayden Demchuk was in net for the shutout tie.

“(Goalie) Isabel (Magsucang) played the bulk of the games and she was good too,” said Gaw. “It’s pretty positive we have two goalies that like to play the position and were starting to get some good training in Whitehorse. They are starting to move forward fairly well.”

Yukon finished the championship with a 6-1 loss to St. John’s Soccer Club from Newfoundland on Monday.

Yukon was outscored just 2-1 in the second half. Striker Tyra Jones put Yukon on the board with her second goal of the championships

“She was in the right place at the right time,” said Gaw.

The Strikers lost 13-0 to open the championship against second seed Nova Scotia on Wednesday. The team rebounded with a much closer 4-1 loss to the Aurora Concordes of Saskatchewan on Thursday. The Saskatchewan squad went up 3-1 by half before the Yukon Strikers found their footing.

Yukon also lost 6-0 to New Brunswick on Sunday, keeping New Brunswick scoreless in the second half.

“In the second half of the last four games, we played excellent,” said Gaw.

“The girls were nervous, they were playing against girls who are a year older, and we don’t get a lot of games,” he added. “As we move forward and get more game experience, I think we’ll be able to start a little bit better. I think that’s our biggest problem. We get a couple of goals on us early and the girls get deflated and it’s hard for them to recover.”

Yukon boys have

rough go at U14 Cup

The Yukon Strikers U14 boys didn’t take in a win at the club nationals, but coach John MacPhail hopes they at least took in a lesson or two.

“Hopefully the boys learned something from it,” said MacPhail. “In the Yukon, we have to figure out how to get to that level … How do we help these kids get there?”

The Strikers’ boys team lost 4-2 to the Eastern Eagles SC from P.E.I. on Thursday in their closest battle.

The match was tied 2-2 after the first half with goals from Yukon striker Morgan Ramsay and centre mid RJ Smallwood.

Yukon’s boys squad lost 18-0 to Alberta’s Foothills club to start the championships on Wednesday.

Following the P.E.I. match Yukon lost 13-0 to Nova Scotia on Saturday, 17-0 to Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday and 9-1 to New Brunswick on Monday.

Midfielder Tyler Milton scored on a penalty kick early on against New Brunswick.

“A lot of teams were running up scores on us – the same with the others,” said MacPhail. “Some of the other scores in the tournament, there were some 11-0s and 9-0s. We weren’t the only ones getting beaten up pretty good.”

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