The Yukon Soccer Association hosted the 2019 Outdoor Soccer Championships from June 7 to 9 at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse.
Twenty-six teams from Whitehorse, Dawson City and Haines Junction — approximately 300 total players — competed in six divisions.
John MacPhail, executive director of the Yukon Soccer Association, said the tournament and the weekend was a success.
“It went well,” said MacPhail. “We were lucky enough that the rain on Friday came just as we were finishing and stopped before we started on Saturday.”
New this year was the addition of technical areas — designated spaces on the sideline for each team’s substitutes and coaching staff — as well as an effort to keep spectators away from the end lines.
“We felt it made a bit of a difference, just in the look of the tournament itself,” said MacPhail.
Three teams took part in the under nine girls division. In first place was PR Services, followed by Due North Maternity in second and Marble Slab Creamery in third.
In the boys under nine division, it was again a three-team field. Northerm won, with Sports Experts finishing second and Yukon Pump Sharpshooters finishing third.
Moving up to the under 11 level, the girls division included four teams. In top spot was the Haines Junction FC Eagles, while Yukon Yamaha finished second and Fuel Yukon finished third.
On the boys side, there were eight under 11 teams. This year’s winner was Castle Rock, with Dawson City FC Mammoths 2 finishing second and Jacobs Industries finishing third.
The four-team under 13 boys division came down to Yukon Yamaha beating Castle Rock for the championship, with Super A Foods and Whitehorse Firefighters finishing third.
Lastly, the under 15 girls division included four teams. Driving Force was the winning team, and Fuel Yukon finished second with Titan Gaming coming in third place.
Whitehorse may make up the bulk of the territory’s population and — by extension — soccer teams, but a win for Haines Junction FC and a finals appearance for Dawson City FC show the popularity of the sport outside the capital.
“They both got into the medal rounds,” said MacPhail about the two clubs. “Both Haines Junction and Dawson City run very good programs.”
Overall, the championships are a window into the state of the game in the Yukon.
“It’s fun to see the out-of-town teams,” said MacPhail. “It’s fun to see everybody together in the same park. … A lot of fun was had.”
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at email@example.com