Two big goals this morning (July 5) have kept the Prince George Impact’s hopes alive at the 2019 B.C. Soccer ‘B’ Cup Championships.
The Under-18 team was down 2-0 midway through the final 45 minutes of play versus Langley at Masich Place Stadium, but fought against the wind and notched two markers within minutes of each other to get to the 2-2 draw in group play, which would be the final score in a major step towards the Les Sinnott Memorial trophy.
Impact Head Coach Rob Lewis says while they couldn’t get a third goal to get those two extra points, he’s impressed by his squad’s passion and resilience.
“I was super proud of them for battling back,” Lewis said to PrinceGeorgeMatters following the match. “We got down two and we were playing well, but then we were able to battle back and got the amount of chances we had and control of the play. Unlucky we couldn’t get that go-ahead goal we needed, but our pool is very tough and it's very close, so as much as it feels like two ties or points you’ve lost, you never know. Interesting things can happen.”
Not done yet 💥 Down 2-0 in the 2nd half, the @PGYSA U18 Impact complete the comeback for the 2-2 draw against Langley at Masich Place Stadium & salvage 1 point in the 'B' Cup standings ⚽️ | #CityOfPG @1BCSoccer @PGMatters pic.twitter.com/T9MHXcqzIq— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) July 5, 2019
Before stoppage time, the Impact did put a third ball behind the Langley goalkeeper to make it a 3-2 game, but the sideline official waved it off, claiming Prince George was offside.
“Disappointing, maybe he got the call right,” said Lewis about the call with a slight chuckle. “But, his explanation made total sense when we talked, so I’m going to have to go with his call.”
The two goals were scored by Connor Lewis and UNBC Timberwolves’ commit Demian Dron.
Lewis potted in a rebound to the back of the net off a corner kick to his left side of the pitch, while Dron took a feed from Julian Daduica on his right side for the tying marker.
Coach Lewis adds his team could’ve quit when they were down, but was ‘super-proud’ of how his team raced back and made smart decisions on the offensive end.
“They could’ve stayed down by a couple. We were playing really well, but had those two unfortunate goals against us. Langley played great as well; we’ve played them before, fun game, but our guys really hung in there and really pressed.”
.@PGYSA U18 Impact goals against Langley this AM came Connor Lewis, a rebound off a cornerkick, & @UNBCMSoccer commit Demian Dron, a tip-in from an outside feed 🚨 | #CityOfPG @1BCSoccer @PGMatters pic.twitter.com/EqomWh6LE0— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) July 5, 2019
The Under-18 Impact have seven graduating players this year, so for them, this may be their last few games in competitive soccer.
Regardless of how provincials end for his team, he hopes the veterans can contribute to the game in more ways than one, which could help them as they grow into men.
“I hope they keep playing the game,” he said. “I know a few are going up to play up at UNBC. I hope others get to keep playing and enjoy the game, and I tell them that it’s been a really fun ride with this group. I’ve been with these guys a long time and I just enjoy it. You know, these times are special times when you’re with your team, remember them, take that with them, and hopefully involved in the sport in the future.”
The Impact have two points in group play; they drawed Kamloops yesterday afternoon (July 4) also by a score of 2-2 and earning them one point.
Prince George has one more round-robin game, which will determine which game they’ll play in the playoff round, against Coquitlam.
First kick for that match goes for tomorrow (July 6), 3 p.m. at the Prince George Youth Soccer Association Fields on 15th Avenue.