The Kamloops Heat left a big impression on the Pacific Coast Soccer League in only their second season in the loop’s Premier women’s division. The Heat, who are made up mostly of players with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack wound up in the PCSL Championship Final.
After winning a wild 7-6 shootout semi final with Victoria on Saturday (July 27), the Heat were beaten 7-2 by the Vancouver Whitecap reserves in the championship final Sunday (July 28) in Coquitlam.
“We had nothing left in the tank,’ said Heat head coach Kelly Shantz, a former TRU assistant coach. “ After that wild one with Victoria, our heads were in the match today but the bodies couldn’t react. That is nothing to say Vancouver wasn’t full value for their win. They are a fine club.”
Saturday’s match was the wildest in Shantz’s long career as a player and coach. After a 2-2 regulation tie,An unheard of 8 goals were scored in the 30 minute extra time session including Kamloops getting 2 in the last 3 minutes of Overtime to force the penalty shoot-out.
In Sunday’s final, the Whitecaps scored the opening goal six minutes in. The Heat responded at the nine minute mark when Kelsey Martin (Kamloops, BC) beat two Vancouver defenders and passed the ball to Heather Lloyd (Kamloops, BC) who shuttled the ball to PACWEST MVP Alanna Bekkering (Kamloops, BC) who rifled a shot into the top corner.
The other goal for Kamloops came in the second half with 15 minutes left in the contest when Brianna Powrie (Kamloops, BC), whom Shantz called his most solid player of the entire weekend playoff, also went top shelf.
Shantz credited his backline for being strong in the finale despite giving up the seven goals. “The Whitecaps are a very talented team and the score could have been higher if not for their play.”.
Summing up the season, Shantz stated: “ We lost only four games all season—three to the Whitecaps. I think we proved to the PCSL that we belong in the premier division and deserved a spot in the playoffs. The girls should hold their heads up high.’