Cheetahs win gold at Nanaimo Youth Soccer year-end tournament

Team result delights coach, team

Oceanside’s scrappy side of U14/U15 Girls clawed out a gold medal at their year-end tournament in Nanaimo over the weekend.

Oceanside’s scrappy side of U14/U15 Girls clawed out a gold medal at their year-end tournament in Nanaimo over the weekend.

 The Oceanside Cheetahs capped off a successful season Sunday when they pounced on the competition for a first place finish at the Nanaimo Youth Soccer tournament for U14/15 girls.

The Cheetahs opened the 10-team tourney Saturday morning with a tough 1-nil win over Nanaimo, and followed that up Saturday by knocking off the league champions from Ladysmith, 3-1.

Forward Michelle Waters led the charge for Oceanside in that one with two goals, and midfielder Sophie Palmer scored the other. Cheetahs’ coach Stuart Kirk said Marrisa Hansen “was a standout in goal making a number of brilliant saves.”

Back at it Sunday in the gold medal game against Cedar, Palmer staked the Cheetahs to a 1-0 lead 32 minutes in when she scored from the corner off a deflection, then upped it to 2-nil 20 minutes later off a pass from teammate Michelle Waters. Hansen came up “with a huge save” at the 63rd minute mark to preserve the two-goal lead, and Waters sealed the win with a solid shot late in the game for a 3-0 final.

“By all accounts we had a very successful season — every player on the team has developed,” a proud coach Kirk said after, adding the side ended the regular season with a couple losses that left them sitting third in the league standings, but that as a team “we were determined to make up for this in the tournament. We had lost to Ladysmith in both our games in the regular season, but showed a ton of courage and determination to beat them Saturday afternoon.”

The win over Ladysmith, he said, “was by far our best game of the season, and our goalie (Marissa) was on her best form making several great stops. The players have worked very hard on their games this season and they were all delighted to be champions.”