Team Yukon’s boys and girls U-16 soccer squads are battling all kinds of weather at the USA Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament this week in Blaine, Minnesota.
However, thunder and lightning storms followed by record heat and humidity, were not enough to stop the girls’ team from picking up a win on Wednesday at North America’s largest youth soccer tournament.
After taking a shutout loss to the St. Louis Park Orioles from Minnesota to start the tournament, the Yukon girls bounced back with a 4-1 win over Minnesota’s Rebels SC Nimmer on Wednesday.
“It was what the girls needed after a tough 2-0 (loss),” said Yukon girls head coach John MacPhail. “What was fun about the game was we were televised on local cable, so the girls were on TV and we all got CDs of the game. It was announced and the girls were interviewed after the game.”
In the match, Yukon drew first blood, going up 1-0 on a goal by centre midfielder Megan Lanigan. Tied 1-1 midway through the second half, Yukon retook the lead on a goal from centre midfielder Camille Greenway.
“Both were scrambles inside the 18,” said MacPhail. “Megan was in the right place at the right time.”
Yukon then pulled away from the Rebels with goals from outside midfielder Emily Dorosz and outside centre Sam Wintemute.
The team then ended the preliminary rounds with a 2-0 loss to the NSSA Pumas on Thursday.
With the 1-2 record, the Yukon girls have been put into the B Pool of the tournament, beginning the quarterfinal on Friday.
“There’s the possibility to play three more games, if we can win a few,” said MacPhail.
Yukon’s boys team had less success at this week’s USA Cup, losing their three matches.
After an 8-2 loss to VIVA Fortaleza on Tuesday, Yukon was shutout in the following two matches, blanked 2-0 against the Wayzata SC on Wednesday and 7-0 to the Rebels SC Blue on Thursday.
Unlike the girls team, the boys played the shorter weekend segment of the USA Cup. After two losses, the boys downed Minnesota’s HFC United 3-1 for their only win thus far.
In the match, Yukon took a brief lead on a goal from forward Colin Kabanak a minute into the game before HFC tied it up a minute later. Yukon moved back out in front in the second half on a goal from striker Kieran Halliday. Midfielder Michael Wintemute then got the insurance goal for the Yukon.
“Michael Wintemute played an outstanding game for us,” said Yukon boys head coach Jake Hanson. “He was a real strong physical presence in the midfield, winning balls.”
Both Yukon teams will be featured in an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Friday about how the two teams, and another from Fairbanks, Alaska, are dealing with the extreme heat the area is experiencing.
The USA Cup is preparing the two Yukon teams for the Western Canada Summer Games next month in Kamloops, BC.
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