Up-and-coming soccer stars shine

More news from the world of soccer this week, as headlines continue to be made at the professional level. And locally, we recognize some of the top teams from the past season.

On the international scene, the Canadian men’s team is testing its talent this month in the Gold Cup tournament, considered a preview of upcoming qualifying matches leading to World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Not a good start in the opener, though, as Canada dropped a 2-0 decision to U.S.A.

Locally, top youth teams from the past season were honoured recently at the Nanaimo and District Youth Soccer Association’s general meeting held at the Beban Park fieldhouse. Having reviewed the boys’ results last week, we turn now to the best girls’ teams…

In the U13 division, the first-place team in league play this season was the Nanaimo Icebreakers, coached by Davina Kazanowski and Dean Mousseau. Players on the championship team were Jaden Cooke, Maddy Dunbar, Jade Flynn, Jaspreet Golebans, Amelia Kazanowski, Monika Kreutziger, Nyree McGonigle, Cheyenne Miller, Alyssa Mousseau, Jasper Parsley-Kehoe, Jamie Sampson, Angel Sunnar, Erica Vanderhorst, Sydney Wilson and Shayna Zoschke.

The runner-up team in the U13 age group was the Nanaimo Thunder. Chris Lundy and Graham Davies provided the coaching for team members Sarah Lundy, Jordyn Monaghan, Emily Holmes, Emily Davies, Grace Gates, Mikayla Phipps, Trejuanelle Dunbar, Julie Richards, Maya Van Der Meulen, Leah Nesselbeck, Sarah Gustafson, Natasha Jensen, Olivia Mjaaland, Janeva Dent, Maria Pirie and Emma Rainboth.

Taking third place was the Nanaimo squad coached by John Best, assisted by Mark Milligan, Mike Charalambous and manager AnnaRita Best. On the roster were players Leila Reyes, Rose Plensky, Zoe Capstick, Sabrina Milligan, Hayley Noshkin, Makala Mullaly, Lexy Antonenko, Kaylie Rafuse, Meridian Best, Takara Charalambous, Shae-Lyn Perry, Aurora Jepson, Michelle Palmer, Riley Carswell, Erica Hanna and Ianna Folkes.

Claiming top spot in the girls’ U14/15 standings this season was the Mid Isle side coached by Phil Hall. Placing second was the Nanaimo Firepower squad, guided by coaches Cliff Robinson and Kevin Goodwin. Firepower players included Erin McDonagh, Keera Young, Tarryn Robinson, Genevieve Amaral, Danielle Frinton, Anna Fisher, Jenna Odynsky, Sydney Goodwin, Allana Merrick, Margaret Mckillop, Megan Winkel, Cameryn Hildebrand, Jasmine Mather, Sarah Manny, Catherine Nutt and Grace McCheyne.

Third-place medallions were presented to coach Stuart Kirk and his Cheetahs squad comprised of players Bronwyn Kirk, Brooklyn Chase, Cassy Child, Chelsea Hoey, Delaney Gunn, Grace Robertson, Greta Wratislav, Hailey Robinson, Heavenly Brock, Keah Stanhope, Lauren Muir, Marissa Hansen, Michalle Waters, Niya Zambon, Randi Joyce, Sean Mang, Shania Frampton and Sophie Palmer.

League champions in the girls’ U16/18 league this year was the Nanaimo Envy team. Players on the winning squad were Stephanie Manson, Cianna Nicklin, Hailey Davies, Sarah Georgica, Shantel Beute, Emily James, Martyne Kolich, Teala Lane, Alex Livesey, Rachel Miller, Gillian Nixon, Dani Scott, Jess Shannon, Marley Tourout, Stacey Tourout, Solenn Vogel, Holly Vojan, Nicole Wenner, Chantell Sorenson and Kim Brown, Bruce Labelle and Roberto Qualizza were the coaches.

In other local soccer news, congratulations go to Liam Roden for his election as incoming president of the Nanaimo Youth Soccer Club at the AGM. Roden takes over from longtime president Anup Kang. Also elected to the executive were vice-president Carl Neibel, secretary Lynn Boyetchko and treasurer Trish Crumpton.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.