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Thunder Girls make a statement at Whitecaps Showcase Tournament

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
March 31st, 2011

By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports

The Kootenay Thunder Regional squad once again held its own against some high level competition at the annual Vancouver Whitecaps Showcase Girl’s Soccer Tournament this past weekend in Surrey.

The Thunder, competing in the U16 Division, finished the tournament with a 1-3 mark.

“For the Kootenay girls this was a great showing as they received compliments from college scouts, Whitecap staff coaches and opposition coaches,” said coach Dave Spendlove of Soccer Quest Indoor in Nelson.

This is the second season the Whitecaps have organized a tournament to showcase the top players in Canada for college and university scouts from across North American.

Last year a handful of Soccer Quest athletes attended the tournament. However, this year Soccer Quest entered a full squad of players from throughout the Kootenay region but had several players aged at 14- and 15-year-old players on the roster.

Therefore team was up against some stiff competition competing in the U16 Division.

Friday the team opened with a 3-1 loss to Victoria Y League. The Island squad took the play to the Thunder before the Kootenay team was able to settle down.

But Kootenay could not rebound from a three-goal deficit. Defender Brittany Wheeler scored the lone goal for Thunder, converting a direct free kick.

Saturday, Kootenay dropped a winnable contest against the Calgary Blizzard. Missed chances came back to haunt the Thunder against the Alberta power, losing 2-1.

Jaala Derochie scored the only goal for Kootenay.

Game three Kootenay finally got into the win column, edging the cream from the Okanagan, Thompson/Okanagan Y League 1-0.

Nelson’s Ameeta Bhabra scored the only goal of the game.

However, the win was bittersweet for the Thunder, which lost Bhabra to a knee injury.

Taylor Stewart, Taylor McKinnon and Danika Bartlett also left the game with injuries.

The shortage of healthy bodies proved to be too much to overcome Sunday as Kootenay lost 3-1 to Coastal Y League from Vancouver Island.

Tournament MVP for Kootenay, Andrea Stinson, gave the Thunder a 1-0 lead before Coastal rallied for three consecutive goals.

“Elise Hewitt, Paige Mansveld, (goalkeeper) Larrisa Piva, Sam Einerson, Erica Augsten, Morag Peterson and Jessica Britton all stepped up and improved as the weekend progressed,” Spendlove said.

Next up for the Thunder is the Western Canada Showcase Tournament in Burnaby April 21-23.

OVERTIME: The Kootenay Boy’s Regional squad travels to Penticton this weekend to compete in a Boy’s Showcase Soccer Tournament. For more information on the Regional program contact Soccer Quest at 250-352-GOAL. . . .Eight of the Thunder Regional team are in Chilliwack Thursday to compete in the 16-team Best of the Best High School Girl’s Soccer Tournament as member of the L.V. Rogers Bombers. The Bombers play three games Thursday to conclude the round robin draw before entering the playoffs Friday. LVR is the defending Kootenay Champ.


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