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Perkins scores hat-trick to power Selects to bronze medal at BC Soccer Provincial B Girl's Championship

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
July 6th, 2014

Dropping the opener at the BC Soccer Provincial B Girl’s Championship didn’t stop the Nelson U17 Selects.

The Selects just got better as the tournament progressed, culminating with a 6-1 trouncing of the host Attack side Sunday in the U17 Girl’s bronze medal game in Chillwack.

Striker Naomi Perkins, finishing the game with a hat-trick, scored twice in the first half to stake the Kootenay Reps to the early they outsiders would not relinquish.

Jenna Wheeldon, converting a penalty kick from 30 meters away, Aroha Tahini Senchel and Camille Gabhart, netting a breakaway marker, also scored for the Selects, who dominated the Fraser Valley squad from the opening kickoff.

“Naomi scored on a pass from Abby (Bouchier-Willans) in the first minute of the game to set the tone for us,” said Nelson co-coach Justin Willans.

“We dominated for the first 30 minutes and had two beauty saves from (keeper Bronwyn Sutherland) to keep us ahead.”

Nelson opened the tournament with a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Aldergove Ambush. Aroha Tahini Senchel scored the lone goal for Nelson.

Selects then dumped Coastal FC 2-0 Friday before drawing with 2-2 with Vernon United.

Abbie Bounchier-Willans and Perkins scored for the Nelson against Coastal FC while Perkins and Aroha Tahini Senchel netted goals against the Okanagan side.

The tie was enough to keep Nelson ahead of Vernon in pool standings and power the Kootenay squad into the medal round.

“The keys to our success was us playing a possession game, keeping control with our passing and (of course) the play of Naomi (Perkins),” Willans explained, who co-coaches with Mike Gerun — both of Jackson’s Hole Masters League success.

“This year we have a powerful combination of athletes with two years experience,” he added.

Perkins finished the tournament with five goals to lead the Selects offence.

Sutherland was in goal for all games.

The bronze medal is a bit of sweet revenge for many of the U17 Selects athletes, who finished sixth overall last season at the tournament in North Vancouver.

In 2013, many of those same players lost a bid for a medal after being knocked into the consolation round on a tie-breaker following round robin play.

Nelson held a lead in the final round robin game with four minutes remaining before Prospect Lake scored to earn a 3-3 tie with the Selects.

The point was enough to advance Prospect Lake into the bronze medal game after edging Nelson out on a tiebreaker.

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