Organizers of the Yukon Brewing Invitational soccer tournament did a bang-up job balancing out teams from a hodgepodge of players last week.
No team went undefeated in the tournament, which was co-ed for a third year, with plenty of tight matches leading up to the final at the Canada Games Centre on April 23.
“This is a combination of all the leagues in town, pretty much,” said organizer Andy Todd. “So we have the co-ed league, the over-35 league, the rec league and men’s league players as well. We kind of combine it all together into one big tournament. We’ve got over 60 players signed on — men and women — it’s a proper co-ed tournament with two girls on the pitch at all times.”
“We make the teams as even as possible,” he added. “All the games have been really close.”
Team Blue took the title with a 3-0 win over Team Red in the final.
Carman Lindsay opened the scoring for Blue before teammate Mark O’Brien logged two second-half goals. Blue goalkeeper Fabian Glyka secured the shutout in the final.
“It’s a mix of players, every team has very strong players, and some other players who don’t have as much experience, but it’s a matter of getting your team to work to their strengths,” said O’Brien. “In this last game we pulled our best game together, which is where you need it. We passed the ball really well, kept possession really well, and defensively we were solid. Our midfield played well defensively.
“We limited their chances and took our chances when we had them.”
Blue went 3-1 with a loss to Green in the round robin to earn the bye to the final. Red took the scenic route, defeating third place’s Green in a semifinal.
“They were tired from a game earlier in the day, which maybe gave us a slight advantage, but everyone is sore after a long weekend of games,” said O’Brien. “Every game was close, every team was strong, every team had a chance to get here to the final today. Luckily we persevered.”
Yellow defeated Orange 4-3 to take fourth place with a late game-winning goal from captain Jan van den Hoorn.
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