Baker wins again, but needs extra time to defeat Bombers 3-1 in Kootenay High School AAA Boy's Soccer Final at Lakeside
By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports
The L.V. Rogers Bombers had dreams of returning to the B.C. High School AAA Boy’s Soccer Championships.
The squad had been on a roll of late. The Bombers were playing the Kootenay High School AAA Boy’s Final at home at the friendly Lakeside Pitch.
And LVR had the luxury of a raft of student body support on the sidelines.
However, for the second consecutive year it was the Mount Baker Wild leaving the pitch as Kootenay Zone champs.
The Wild scored twice in extra time to stun the LVR Bombers 3-1 on a cold, windy Thursday afternoon at the Lakeside Field.
Mount Baker now represents the Kootenays at the B.C. High School AAA Boy’s Soccer tournament November 24-26 in Burnaby.
Dale Golding ripped the heart out of the Bombers with a goal late in the first overtime period before Ryan Bridgeo added insult to the loss by scoring with time running out in the game.
“We practiced in two inches of snow (earlier this week) so the boys were ready for the cold and Nelson, which is a very good team,” said Baker coach Jesse Jarvis after the game.
“We don’t get a chance to play very good teams,” Jarvis added, “and Nelson is a very good team. So we’re happy to get this win.”
Bolstered by the fans support on the sidelines to start the game — LVR administration allowed student body the option of skipping last block to attend the game — the youthful Bombers got off to a great start when Ryan Lewis beat Wild keeper Manuel Mestre for the game’s first marker.
But instead of building on the marker, it was the Wild taking over the play. And the East Kootenay squad was able to tie up the game on a miscue by Bomber keeper Andrew Woodward.
Woodward flubbed a clearing attempt allowing Wild midfielder Javier Labrador to score into the empty net before half time.
In the second half the Wild defence limited LVR’s scoring chances to a few attempts from well outside the penalty area.
Meanwhile, Woodward was tested numerous times by the Wild strikers.
“First of all (strikers Ryan Lewis and Luis Loeschinik) were not getting the ball,” said Bomber sideline boss Jamie Spendlove when asked about the inconsistency of the strikers to penetrate the Wild defence.
“Luis really wasn’t supposed to be up there (on the forward line),” Spendlove added.
“He was supposed to be hanging a bit back but we didn’t have any options because our central midfielder, Simon Sheppard, decided just this morning he was not going to play because his ankle was pretty bad (injured) and he couldn’t go.”
In the end, it was the Wild’s senior leadership that proved to be the difference against a Bomber team with only one Grade 12 player — Mitch Melanson.
“(Cranbrook) is older and more experienced but I though they (LVR) did well,” Spendlove lamented.
“Baker was more physical for sure. We got knocked around quite a bit.”
However, the Wild two-year romp to the B.C. tournament may be in jeopardy next year.
The Bombers have all but Melanson returning to the squad for the 2012 season.
“It’s a very bright future for LVR,” said Spendlove. “The entire team is back, except for one player.”
ZONE NOTES: Cranbrook finished tenth last year at the provincial tournament that had to be rescheduled for May of 2011 after snow postponed the original November 2010 date. . . .The Bombers had won the Kootenay AAA Zone for 15 consecutive years before Cranbrook ended the streak in 2010 with a 3-2 win in the East Kootenay City. The best finish for LVR during that run came when Mark Dodsworth, Isaac Rosenberg and Avery Bartels powered the Bombers to a bronze medal finish. Keith Willams coached LVR to nine of the zone titles. Before Williams was the combo of Mike Sedlbauer and Hogue Tyler heading the coaching staff.