A number of teams from the Tri-Cities struck gold at last weekend’s provincial A and B soccer championships.
Coquitlam Metro-Ford Schalke 04-U13 boys team broke a 2-2 deadlock against the Kelowna Heat with 10 minutes remaining in their final match to cap an undefeated run at the Provincial A Cup in Surrey. The team, coached by Gino Di Francesco, Ward Ross and Lisa Braniff won three matches and tied one in the tournament en route to gold.
Port Moody AC Selects U16 team rebounded from a 4-2 loss to West Vancouver in their opening round-robin match and won their next two games to earn a berth in the final and a chance to redeem themselves against their Metro Select League rivals from West Van. Steven Ono scored seven minutes into the match and Tye Engmann scored in the 14th and 15th minutes to vault the Selects to a 4-1 victory. The championship was the team’s third in a row.
On the girls’ side, Coquitlam Metro-Ford U14 Venom defeated UVI Riptide 2-1 in their Provincial A Cup final at Newton Athletic Park. The Venom were down by a goal but tied the game with less than 16 minutes left to play. Berlin Dion then tapped in the winner with less than a minute left to play in stoppage time The win capped a successful season for the squad, which lost only once all year. That was in the Metro Select League final, but in May they rebounded to take the Coastal A Cup championship.
The Coquitlam Metro-Ford Shock won a bronze in the girls’ U16 A Cup final. They lost their opening round game to Richmond FC, then rallied to tie Upper Island Riptide 1-1 and defeat Delta Coastal Selects 2-0.
At the girls’ Provincial B Cup held at South Surrey Athletic Park, Coquitlam Metro Ford U14 Heat won all four of their matches, including a 2-0 victory over Kamloops in the final. The team didn’t allow a single goal in the tournament as they also defeated Prince George, Westcoast FC and Coastal FC en route to the title.
The Coquitlam Metro-Ford Aftershock finished fourth in their U15 group while in the girls’ U16 B Cup the Coquitlam Metro-Ford Nemesis also finished fourth in their group.
In Vernon, the North Coquitlam United U16 Hammers defeated the North Vancouver Surge 2-1 in their final at the Les Sinnott Memorial boys Provincial Cup.
Team captain Liam Chernoff opened the scoring with an early strike. Shortly after, Behnam Deylamipour scored the eventual game winner. A late surge by North Vancouver got them back into the game, but they couldn’t score the equalizer.
The Hammers’ win avenged their only loss of the season, that came to the Surge in their Coastal Cup final match. They won twice, over Vernon United and the Nelson Selects, and had a draw against Bays United Sabotage in their run-up to the final.
“Some of us have played together since we were little an it’s great to have this moment as a group,” said Chernoff of the side’s first provincial title.
“The all worked hard and should be very proud of themselves,” said Nima Ranji, the team’s coach.
Coquitlam Metro-Ford Apollo finished second in their boys’ U18 group.