They might have left town with a small roster, but Terrace’s U17 girls soccer team returned home with a big win from the Slurpee Cup in Kamloops over the long weekend.
And it was a long time coming – this team has come close before at the annual tournament but this year saw them finally clock the most points overall and tie for first in the final with Vernon.
Thanks to the team’s placement in the U18 age bracket, the team of 12 picked up two U18 girls, Rosalyn Fassnacht and Harjot Pandher, adding to their still short bench. Terrace striker Jewel Hall’s injury in game one added to the challenge.
But the team rose to the challenge and didn’t lose a match.
Terrace began by tying Vernon – who they’d go on to meet in the final – 1-1 in a hard fought tournament opener that saw Hannah Jay named MVP.
Next up, Kamloops, the tournament host. Despite dominating the play, Terrace “can not buy a goal in the first half,” said coach Sean Bujtas. But a Kamloops goal 10 minutes into the second half ramps up Terrace’s play, and six minutes later Terrace retaliates with a corner kick by Jenna Hoornenborg that’s smashed into the back of the net by midfielder Jay. And with five minutes to go Rosalyn Fassnacht sends a ball for Hoornenborg who splits two defenders and scores the winning goal, making it 2-1. Hoornenborg – the only 15-year-old on the team – would earn MVP.
Hoornenborg would be named MVP again after the team’s 1-0 win over Vancouver United in game three – a very physical back-and-forth battle that got rough very quickly and seemed like it would end in a draw. But with eight minutes left Hoornenborg drives a ball at the Vancouver goalie who is forced to give up a big rebound. That’s when Fassnacht who was trailing the play picked up the rebound and lobbed over the Vancouver keeper’s head as she watched it helplessly go in.
The win put Terrace with 15 points, two wins and a tie and Vernon behind them in the standings with nine points, one win, one tie, and one loss.
This set up a rematch with Terrace and Vernon for game four and the final.
At the end of the tournament and knowing it had a short bench, Terrace knew it had to come out hard.
Striker Ashlee Wojnarowski at the six-minute mark of the game capitalized on the keeper not having full control of the ball after a save, pushing it past the goalie where Hoornenborg grabbed it and sent it to the back of the net.
But five minutes later Vernon is awarded a free kick on the top of Terrace’s 18-yard box after a defender had taken a very unlucky hand ball. Vernon strikers placed the ball perfectly in the top right corner out of the reach of Terrace keeper Alex Bujtas.
Vernon, noticing Terrace’s short bench, tried to take advantage of this by rotating their bench quickly and getting fresh legs on the field.
But Terrace fought hard and sound defending from Holding Midfielder Deb Wraight, defenders Anke deWit, Harjot Pandher Hailey Mitchell, Emily Dodd, Mikaela Jeffery and keeper Alex Bujtas – who would be awarded MVP of the final – kept Vernon off the score board for the rest of the game.
Final score 1 – 1. With 18, Terrace came out with the top points in the tournament and crowned co-champions with Vernon.