The Salmon Arm Secondary (SAS) Junior Girls soccer team finished second place in the Okanagan after a series of hard-fought games against rivals from Kamloops.
The Jewels played in the Okanagan Championships this past weekend in Vernon. They finished second in the North Zone and were in the same pool as Valleyview and Brock from Kamloops.
The girls played Brock in their first game and got off to a great start, scoring early. Brock quickly got back into the game when they scored to even it up.
The second half saw the Jewels take charge with a flurry of goals. The final score was 7-2 for SAS. Goal scorers were Angalina Cross with 3, Roxanne VanRooyen with 2 and singles from Jordyn Turner and Grace Gerbitz.
In the second game of the day, against Valleyview, the game was even with chances coming at both ends.
The Valleyview team was able to score in the first half after a lengthy stretch of dominance by the Jewels.
The final score was 1-0.
Their performance in the first two games put the girls in second place in their pool, causing a match up against the top team in the other pool: South Kamloops.
The Saturday morning game against South Kamloops had intensity equal to the heat of the day.
Through 70 minutes of regulation time the score remained 0-0.
Two 10-minute overtime periods still did not settle the score.
The Jewels won the ensuing shootout with goals from Van Rooyen, Megan Hart and Shelbi Richard. Julia Hart was calm and stood tall in net.
The shootout win took the Jewels to a rematch with Valleyview for the Okanagan Championships.
“The intensity and physicality of the game continued from the day before,” said Jewels’ coach Tricia Martin.
The Valleyview team was awarded a free kick outside the 18 yard box where they got a shot on net and crashed the goalie to put the ball in.
The Jewels pressed hard, especially in the final 15 minutes of the game when Avery Hanson moved up to forward from defence to make use of her speed and never surrender attitude.
Despite intense pressure from the Jewels, the Valleyview team was able to keep the ball out of the net and the game ended 1-0.
“The girls should be commended on their great team play and that they fought hard to the final whistle,” Martin said.“The girls also had to battle a lot of adversity this year. The girls suffered from a late start due to field conditions. The team was picked and then had to play their first game before they even had one practice as a team.”
The Jewels improved on last year’s finish, moving up one spot from last year’s third-place finish to second place in the Okanagan.