Nelson Selects Golden en route to berth at Les Sinnott Memorial Boys Provincial Cup
The Nelson Selects U16 Boys continue to build for the Provincial Tournament after the local squad captured three gold medals as well as a berth in the Les Sinnott Memorial Boys Provincial Cup next month in West Vancouver.
“The boys played fantastic, their best game of the year against a strong opponent,” said coach Kerry Dyck of the 2-0 win over Kootenay East Rovers in the BC Soccer Kootenay Zone Play Downs gold medal game.
“We played a perfect possession, passing game, and controlled the match. This was the big one, our primary target, to qualify for Provincials.”
Added the NYSA Technical Director, “I thought the team was fantastic. They passed the ball very well and played with great intensity.”
Milo Baranyai-Sheppard and Markin-Hellekson provided the offence for the Selects against Kootenay East.
Nelson won the gold at the Invermere Clash of the Titans tournament at the end of May. On route to the final, the boys tied Kootenay East Rovers 1-1 with a goal from Josh Yasek, and defeated Calgary Rangers 7-0, with Blake Markin-Hellekson contributing a hat trick, and Aidan Mushumanski, Thomas Baxter, Jahmal Truth-Verville and Arnau Espinalt a goal each.
In the final, the boys rallied from an early 1 goal deficit against Calgary Foothills to win the gold 7-1.
Goal scorers in the final were Mushumanski and Markin-Hellekson with two each, and Ezra Foy, Baxter and Noah Laroque with one each. Coach Lyle Hill said, “I was proud of the team’s efforts on the weekend.
“Obviously, we dominated two of the games, and even in the 1-1 tie, we controlled the match with a majority of the possession and outshot them by a two to one margin” Dyck explained.
Finally, in the Cranbrook Sam Steele Tournament this past weekend the squad picked up their fourth gold of the season, with a tie and three wins.
They started strong with a 6-0 victory over Okotoks (goals from Jaden Dyck, Josh Fogal, Yasek, Baranyai-Sheppard, Mushumanski and Markin-Hellekson) and then a 2-1 win over their familiar rivals, Kootenay East Rovers (goals from Grayson Hill and Mushumanski).
They followed this with a 2-2 tie against Coaldale (Both goals supplied by Markin-Hellekson) and a 1-0 win over the NYSA U15 Boys, who played up (goal by Jaden Dyck).
Player of the Game Awards for those four games were given to Mushumanski, Hill, Markin-Hellekson and Dyck, respectively.
“Looking at this stretch in which we’ve won three gold medals, we’ve scored a lot of goals. But it’s noteworthy to me that in that span, we’ve only conceded five goals in eight games, a real testament to our team defense. But in particular, I want to highlight the unsung heroes playing on our defensive line, Jesse Thurston, Jahmal Truth-Verville, Jacob Erickson, Liam Jones and Noah Laroque (and Ezra Foy and Josh Fogal, who have also taken turns).”
“It’s been a great stretch for us, and the boys have been playing very well,” added coach Hill.
“Now, we look forward to the Provincials in a few weeks, and hope that we can keep our level of play high, and see what results we can get.”