Soccer shines when a single kick of the ball can determine a championship title, and that happened often during the Toonie Tournament, put on by the Whitehorse Minor Soccer Association Friday and Saturday at the Canada Games Centre.
Of the three finals played on Saturday, in age groups U-7, U-9 and U-11, two ended in shootouts, including one that went through 20 shooters to determine the winner.
Computec Embroidery sews up U-9 title
If there’s one advantage that Computec Embroidery had in the U-9 championship game, it was that the team advanced with a shootout win in the semifinals as well.
After shots from 10 players from each team, Computec’s Aaron Rich finally put in the winning goal as his team defeated Pristine Auto Care 3-2 for the U-9 title.
Down 1-0 nearing the end of the first half, Computec’s Jack Blair scored his first of two goals, the second coming early in the second half, to put his team up 2-1.
“He played awesome all tournament,” said Computec coach Spencer Rich. “He scored a lot of goals this tournament, probably around 10.
“The rest of the team played well, though. Everybody pitched in, played their positions and did their jobs; the whole team played as a team.”
Rich admits that he was not sure his team could maintain their high-energy play in the second half, but a pep-talk at halftime may have done the trick.
“I said to the kids at halftime, ‘There’s one half to go, give it everything you’re got, have fun and we get a medal no matter what happens,’” said Rich. “So they got out there, they worked hard and we were lucky enough to get one goal up.
“The game could have gone either way, it was just a fantastic final.”
In the battle for bronze in the U-9 division, DHL Express shut out Mic Mac Toyota 6-0 with goals from Angus Endress, Matthias Hoenisch and four from Ben Shier.
Two-goal comeback gives Northerm win
After tying the Whitehorse Elks in the round-robin section of the tournament, Northerm finally ended the stalemate with a 5-4 win over the Elks in the U-7 finals. Northerm overcame a 4-2 deficit in the second half for the title.
“(The Elks) actually beat the odds and came up on the B side (of the draw) to win in the semifinal, they should be congratulated for that,” said Northerm coach Paul Kishchuk. “That’s a tough road sometimes.”
Two players in particular stood out on the game sheet, scoring all their goals for their respective teams. Elks’ Joe Hanson put in all four of his team’s goals while Northerm’s Ben Kishchuk produced his team’s goals, including the winner in the shootout.
“The team is great,” said Kishchuk. “They pulled together and that makes the difference in the tournaments, everybody working together right until the end.”
On the neighbouring field, Intersport won bronze with a 3-1 win over the Soccer Shoppe.
Teams feel the Impact in U-11 division
Although not as close as the other finals, the U-11 finals ended in a tight 2-0 win for Impact Well Drilling over Physio Plus.
“We knew they were going to play hard – I wasn’t sure if the kids’ energy level would be up, but they just brought it up and played a really good game and kept it going,” said Impact coach Kevin McDonnell. “The other team played hard, but it was just first to the ball. They got to the ball, had a few good shots and away we went.”
Scoring for Impact were Grayden McDonnell with a goal in the first half and Logan Harris with one in the second.
Regardless of the score, Physio Plus was not without scoring opportunities against Impact, who went undefeated in tournament, leading McDonnell to shower praise on his goalkeeper.
“Malcolm (Muir) in net, was doing awesome; he kept everything out,” said McDonnell. “Everybody put it together and picked up the energy.”
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com