U-14 soccer side tunes up for playdown

The under-14 Prince George Youth Soccer Association Timberwolves are taking a much needed break this weekend.

Instead of travelling out of town for a tournament like they've done since Easter weekend, the tier 1 boys soccer side is staying put on their home pitch for a series of exhibition games just for fun.

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The Timberwolves are preparing for the U14 boys Interior zone playdown in Kamloops in early June that will determine who represents the region in the Provincial A Cup Soccer championships.

And they feel confident going in as they've found success so far this season.

The squad won the Kamloops Slurpee Cup on Victoria Day weekend with a 1-0 shut out against Port Moody in the final.

Port Moody won the provincial A cup title in 2014.

"It was a nice win for us and everyone played well," said head coach Rob Lewis. "They played well and played a very good team game and that was the difference for us."

Prince George took the match over in the second half on a goal from Jaxon Danilec on a nice feed from Connor Lewis.

Goalkeeper Noah Brannigan earned the win and the defence shut the door to seal the win.

The Timberwolves opened the tournament with a 1-1 tie against a big, aggressive North Island Storm team. They followed that up with a 1-0 victory over the Kamloops Blaze. Ethan Furlong scored on a free kick strike for the T-wolves lone goal. Prince George had beat them earlier in the season on an exhibition tour.

The Timberwolves then earned a hard-fought 1-1 tie against the Thompson Okanagan Football Club. Prince George tested TOFC's goalie repeatedly in the second half.

The tournament was the second of the season for Prince George, having lost 2-1 in the final against Calgary at the Kelowna Icebreaker on Easter weekend.

The Timberwolves have been together for years as a team, and in different groups. Twelve of the 16 players participate in the Whitecaps Northern Academy. Lewis has coached some of them since they were five-years-old.

"They've been a very dedicated group and have played a lot of soccer," said Lewis. "It's kind of nice to see it come to fruition. It's kind of nice to get outside too and play some games and see the rewards. They love to play."

Members of the PGYSA U14 Tier 1 Timberwolves are: Brandon Garwe, Julian Daduica, Daniel Bamgbade, Noah Brannigan, Demian Dron, Connor Lewis, Ethan Furlong, Blake Astorino, Everett Douglas, Daniel Zimmerman, Jackson Kuc, Marco Pandolfo, Jaxon Danilec, Nathan Beebe, Keanan St. Rose and Luke Winnig.

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