Two Yukon Strikers SC teams were in Pitt Meadows over the weekend, but the trip was definitely not the pits.
The two under-14 Strikers teams placed second and third in their respective divisions at the West Coast Cup in B.C.
The Strikers boys team went undefeated into the final for silver and the Strikers girls team took third after losing in the semifinal.
“I’m pretty happy. The boys played really well,” said boys coach Dale Cheeseman. “In our first game we struggled a bit in the first half and then got going. We haven’t played together against a really competitive team since Juneau on Canada Day long weekend.
“There’s been a lot of training throughout the summer and it was good to play some older boys.”
The Strikers boys scored silver in a U14 Division 1/U15 Division 2 mix.
They reached the final with a 6-2 win over the West Coast FC U14 Hammers home team in the semifinal.
Strikers Forward Jamie Phillips-Freeman was selected as the game’s MVP by the other team after scoring a hat trick in the game.
“His speed and agility just took him through their defence and he popped in three goals,” said Cheeseman.
Other Strikers goals in the semi came from Jake Charlton, Joseph Coyne and Felix Maltais.
The Strikers came away with silver following a 4-0 loss to CCB Inter, a Surrey U15 Gold division team.
The Yukon team was down 1-0 at half before a pair of early goals in the second half allowed Surrey to pull away.
Strikers goalkeeper Seth Carey got the MVP nod from Surrey.
“The team we played were all 15-year-old kids and most of them were taller than our boys and played a very physical game,” said Cheeseman. “We kept up to them, they just penetrated a few more times and got a few more goals than us.
“But Seth made some outstanding saves that games.”
The Strikers rep team opened the road trip with a 5-2 win over the Langley FC in an exhibition match Friday. They then topped the West Coast FC U15 team 3-2 to open the tournament and tied the West Coast Southsiders Selects 1-1.
Strikers midfielder Simon Kischuk was named MVP in the former and defenceman Cody Amaral, who scored his team’s only goal in the match, the MVP in the latter.
The Strikers under-14 girls finished the Cup with a 3-1 win over Delta for third in the U14 Metro Select/U15 Div 1 gold mix.
“Besides the whole team playing very well, the stars were the entire defense giving up only four goals in five games,” said Strikers head coach Tony Gaw. “They were excellent and frustrated the opposition each game. Our three goalies also played well, Jayden Demchuk, Ava Cairns-Locke and Alice Frost-Hanberg.”
Propelling the Strikers to the win in the third-place match were Tyra Jones, Jewel Davies and Charlotte van Randen, who was named MVP for the match.
The Strikers arrived in the bronze match with a 1-0 loss to Fraser Valley in the semifinal. Demchuk was named MVP.
“It was a great game and we had our chances but couldn’t buy a goal,” said Gaw. “The girls played really well to the end and were happy with their performance.”
The Yukon squad went undefeated in their first three matches, including an exhibition match Saturday morning, winning 1-0 over Langley FC with a goal from Maggie Fekete.
“It was really good to get a game in before the tourney as we hadn’t played against another girls team since Juneau at the end of June,” said Gaw.
The Strikers opened the tourney going 2-2 against Coquitlam Metro Ford with goals from Ava Cairns-Locke and MVP Jones. They then shutout Royal City YSC 3-0 with contributions from Jones, Bryn Peterson and Cairns-Locke, who was named MVP.
The Strikers U14 boys will compete at the 2014 Nationals Club Championships next month in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
“I think at nationals the teams are going to be a tad bit stronger, but it’ll be good competition,” said Cheeseman. “And it’ll be good exposure to what soccer is like on the national level within our age group.”
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