Nicole Thomas of the Kamloops Blaze thought she blew it, her corner kick veering dangerously toward the Penticton Pinnacles’ goalkeeper with two minutes left in extra time of the under-18 Girls Provincial B Cup final last weekend in Burnaby.
“When I saw it close to the net, I thought, oh no, this is horrible,” Thomas said. “The goalie is going to get it and it’s going to be all for nothing.”
Distress turned to delight when the corner kick proved tricky for the goalkeeper, who parried the ball into her own net.
“Everyone came in and they were so excited,” Thomas said. “It was amazing.”
(See video of the goal at the bottom of this story).
The Blaze, backstopped by Sadie Moyer, held on to win 2-1 and claim the B.C. crown.
Mykaela Woods scored Kamloops’ first goal, a header off a corner kick from Jordyn Lodermeier.
“It was beautiful,” Thomas said of the first Blaze marker.
Also on the Kamloops roster are Anika Black, Anika Lee Fraser, Shannon Giesbecht, Taryn Meixner, Maiya Zimmerman, Ella DeRose, Sydney Ludwig, Kaitlin Ramsay, Emily Clark, Fiona Brisco, Kendra McDonald, Alina Saari, Piper Conner, Payton DeFehr-Robb, Emma Mercuri and Taylor Smith.
Mark Bell is the team’s head coach. Brianna Powrie, Sarin Warman and Nevada Woods are assistant coaches and Naomi Hori is team manager.
The U18 Blaze girls were not the only Kamloops squad to claim a B.C. title last weekend.
The U16 Kamloops Blaze edged Wesburn Galaxy of Burnaby 4-3 in the gold-medal game at the Les Sinnott Memorial Boys B Cup in Prince George.
Two goals from Luke Fabbro-Smith and singles from Sebastian Myram and Tavish Comrie led the way for the Blaze, who went with Alessandro Lizzi between the pipes.
Also on the roster are Amar Brown, Christopher Crowe, Matteo Fattor, Ben Jacoby, Hayden Koppes, Brayden Kunz, Will Persad, Michah Schwirtlich, Eric Swaine, Anthony Wiseman and Darrell Woods.
Victor Lizzi, Louis Adamo and Charlie Nigro make up the coaching stable.
The Blaze rode a 23-game unbeaten streak to the provincial championship.
On the podium
Three more KYSA teams earned medals at provincials.
The U17 Girls, along with head coach Frank Faraone and assistant coach Emily Mann, took home silver after a 2-0 defeat to Prospect Lake/Peninsula.
Head coach Austin Pietramala, assistant coach Bruce Harrison and the U13 Blaze boys won bronze with a 2-1 victory over Prince George.
On the U13 Blaze roster are Kaiden Goddard, Brandon Johnson, Caleb Kroad, Kohen Cound, Kieran Harrison, Jonas Edstrom, Jonah Baird, Jacob Eichenberger, Zoraver Ollek, Jack Bacon, Caleb Sheppard, Zachary Fortin, Danny Kroeker, David McClymont, Adam Anderson and Gavin MacGregor.
The U14 boys, coached by Tony Cuzzetto, Tristan Gough and Rob Thomasse, also won bronze, besting another KYSA squad in penalty kicks in the bronze-medal tilt.