Half of Yukon’s indoor soccer teams won hardware while the other half missed out at the Arctic Winter Games last week.
Team Yukon’s junior females won gold, the junior males grabbed bronze and the juvenile squads each took one-goal losses in the bronze medal matches for fourth.
The Yukon junior males captured the bronze with a 5-1 win over the hosting Alaskans on Saturday.
“We wanted to win today,” said Yukon captain Jono Runions. “We had possession most of the game. We played Alaska before so we knew what they were like. We closed them down pretty quickly. We just kept shooting on the net and got goals.”
Yukon striker Dominic Korn scored a natural hat trick to give his team a 3-0 lead in the bronze match. Korn, who was named the game’s MVP, led his team in goals in the tournament with six.
Yukon’s Allen Mark and Andrew Scoffin also scored in the bronze match.
Yukon fell into the bronze medal match in a 6-1 semifinal loss to Team N.W.T., who went on to take silver in a 6-2 loss to Greenland in the final.
“They’re happy (with bronze) … We wanted to get in the finals and play Greenland, but we had a bad semifinal,” said Runions. “The guys were all tired, so we didn’t play that great … We weren’t ready for the game.”
Yukon’s juvenile female team slipped to fourth place with a tight 2-1 loss to Alaska on Friday. Christine Moser scored for Yukon on a low hard shot from the wing.
“The girls bought into the idea of playing more possession-oriented soccer, so we played a little less physically at the end of the tournament, trying to play good soccer,” said Yukon head coach Jacob Hanson. “I think that effected the results in some ways, but they played the best soccer I’ve seen in the last two games – the two games they lost.
“I’m very happy with how they played.”
The failure to secure a medal came after a promising start. Yukon went 3-2 in the round-robin to place second, beating Alaska, N.W.T. and Nunavut. Alberta North won gold with a 7-1 win over Greenland in the final.
Yukon dropped a 2-1 lead over silver-winning Greenland in the semifinal, losing 3-2.
Jamie Joe-Hudson and Moser scored for Yukon in the semi. Mikaela Ponsioen led Yukon with seven goals in the tournament.
Yukon’s juvenile males ran into a little rotten luck in the bronze medal match. They placed fourth with a 3-2 loss to Alaska on Friday.
Yukon lost momentum when they accidently scored on themselves on a pass back to goalkeeper Frejean Pourier to make it 1-1.
“That definitely set us back a bit,” said Yukon captain Tristan Rentmeister. “We thought we had it and we were all really confident, and when that went in we were all brought back a bit.”
Scoring for Yukon in the bronze match were Malcolm Muir – the team’s only returning player from the 2012 Games – and Logan Harris.
“We definitely came here thinking we’d come back with something but I guess it spun around on us in the last minute,” said Rentmeister. “We beat them 4-3 in the first game when we came here, so we might have gone into it a little bit cocky.
“I think the fact that a lot of our players were sick and hurt didn’t help the team. So some players didn’t play at all.”
Yukon lost 9-1 to silver-winning Greenland in the semifinal with a goal from Justin MacDougal to evade the shutout loss.
Yukon went 3-2 in the round-robin to place third ahead of Alaska.
“It’s been great, it’s been an experience of a lifetime,” said Rentmeister. “I think everyone should have this kind of experience when they are playing in a competitive sport.”
“Our whole team did really well,” he added. “Everyone deserved a medal. Maybe next time.”
Yukon’s junior female beat Team N.W.T. 5-1 in the gold medal match on Saturday.
The team, which has largely been playing together for a decade, went undefeated in the tournament to defend Yukon’s gold from the 2012 Games in Whitehorse.
“I am so thrilled,” said coach Charly Kelly. “This is the last tournament with these girls for me. Most of them are going on to university – I’ve got four trying out for universities – so this was the end.”
Yukon did not enter a team in the intermediate female division, which was won by Sapmi with a 9-1 win over Alaska.
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