Strik­ers strike gold at soc­cer provin­cials

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Ted CLARKE Cit­i­zen staff

So­hanna Bains grew up play­ing soc­cer in Prince Ge­orge and never in her ca­reer did her sea­son end the way it did last Sun­day in Burn­aby.

Stand­ing on the high­est plat­form of the medal podium.

Bains and the Ques­nel Strik­ers teamed up to win gold at the un­der-16 girls pro­vin­cial B cham­pi­onship, de­feat­ing Kelowna United 3-1 in the fi­nal. Ruby Ni­cholas scored all three goals for the Strik­ers, in­clud­ing the win­ner about 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half.

“That’s the first time in 30 years a Ques­nel team has won a (pro­vin­cial) ti­tle,” said Bains, the 15-year-old Strik­ers full­back.

Bri­tyn Hin­sche went the dis­tance in goal for the Strik­ers, a team of play­ers from Prince Ge­orge, Ques­nel, Williams Lake and Ter­race.

The Strik­ers opened Fri­day with a score­less tie with Shuswap FC 0-0, then beat Vernon United FC Elec­tric­ity 5-0 and wrapped up first place in their pool with a 7-0 win over Burn­aby Girls Soc­cer Club Stealth.

Four­teen of the 17 Strik­ers play­ers trained to­gether in­doors from Septem­ber to June at the North­ern Sport Cen­tre, work­ing three or four times per week on skill devel­op­ment in the UNBC Girls Academy pro­gram with Tim­ber­wolves women’s team head coach Neil Sedg­wick.

“That was a big fac­tor, it was some­thing new for all of us and we all learned to­gether,” said Bains.

“This is one of the fac­tors as to why our team bonds to­gether so well and why our play­ers are very tech­ni­cally and tac­ti­cally good.

“The qual­ity of train­ing that we get from Neil is some­thing the north has never seen be­fore. We have learned a dif­fer­ent style of play that works for our team and is a huge fac­tor of our suc­cess.”

Bains said hav­ing the abil­ity to play in­doors

“The qual­ity of train­ing that we get from Neil (Sedg­wick, coach) is some­thing the north has never seen be­fore. We have learned a dif­fer­ent style of play that works for our team and is a huge fac­tor of our suc­cess.

— So­hanna Bains, Strik­ers full­back

on the UNBC field turf is the only way they were able to com­pete with U-16 teams from the coast who have been play­ing on out­door fields in leagues through­out the win­ter.

That also gave the girls a few op­por­tu­ni­ties to work out with the T-wolves var­sity women’s team.

In the lead-up to the pro­vin­cial tour­na­ment they had games against the Prince Ge­orge U-17 and U-18 teams.

“We’re our only com­pe­ti­tion up here,” Bains said.

Bains is among nine Prince Ge­orge Youth Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion prod­ucts on the Strik­ers, along with

Nancy Moore, Jordyn Williams, Claire Ram­sey, Syd­ney Bar­low, Olivia Wankling, Emma Ax­e­wor­thy, Sarah Dereskavic­h and Mar­garet Caf­fery.

The team also in­cludes Ques­nel play­ers Ni­cholas, Reese Ja­cob­son, Emma Blair, Olivia Martins and Olivia Momer.

Hinche, the team cap­tain, and Brooke Levens are from Williams Lake, while Quinn Kohlman is from Ter­race.

Joanne Wankling, the T-wolves women’s team as­sis­tant coach, and Jim Ni­cholas of Ques­nel, han­dled the Strik­ers’ coach­ing du­ties.

• Home field ad­van­tage cer­tainly worked in favour of the Prince Ge­orge Im­pact U-18 boys at the Les Sin­nott Me­mo­rial pro­vin­cial B cham­pi­onship at Ro­tary Field.

The Im­pact went un­de­feated in four games and capped the sea­son with a 2-1 win Sun­day over Guild­ford Ath­letic Club Dy­namo in the bronze medal game.

• In the U-13 boys di­vi­sion, the Prince Ge­orge Im­pact went 2-1 in round-robin play to fin­ish sec­ond in the pool, then lost 2-1 in a the bronze-medal game to Thomp­sonOkana­gan. The Im­pact B team fin­ished 0-3. The U-15 Im­pact went 1-2.

HAND­OUT PHOTO

The Ques­nel Strik­ers are based in Ques­nel but had a strong con­tin­gent of Prince Ge­orge tal­ent last week­end at the pro­vin­cial B girls soc­cer cham­pi­onship in Burn­aby. The Strik­ers de­feated Kelowna United 2-1 in the gold-medal game on Sun­day. Back row from left are: Jim Ni­cholas (coach), Ruby Ni­cholas, Syd­ney Bar­low, Jordyn Williams, Nancy Moore, Quinn Kohlman, Reese Ja­cob­son, Brooke Levens and Joanne Wankling (coach); front row: Emma Blair, Olivia Wankling, Bri­tyn Hin­sche (cap­tain), So­hanna Bains and Emma Ax­e­wor­thy. Miss­ing from photo are: Olivia Martins, Claire Ram­sey, Sarah Dereskavic­h, Olivia Momer and Mar­garet Caf­fery.

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