The Burnaby Selects were the sweet 16 at the B.C. Soccer Coastal Cup championships.
Both the under-16 boys’ and girls’ teams won their respective Coastal A Cup finals in Richmond last weekend.
The Cinderella girls’ team capped a turnaround season in the Metro league, blanking North Shore Renegade 2-0 at Minoru Park Oval on Saturday.
The Burnaby Selects boys also picked up an A cup at the expense of the North Shore, edging the North Vancouver Selects 2-1 in the u-16 final on Sunday.
Nicole Bell scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 15th minute, burying a one-timer low to the far post with a left foot from inside the 18-yard box on a well-executed attack.
Anjali Dhaliwal, who just missed a great chance at goal in the 20th minute with a solid strike that skimmed the far post, scored the insurance marker, redirecting a shot by Bell that eluded the North Shore keeper at the near post.
Alysha Mustard recorded the shutout for Burnaby, which split its two regular-season meetings with the Renegade.
Bell called the cup win “very exciting.”
“We have never made it past the first round of playoffs,” said Bell after the game. “We were tired of losing,” added Bell. “It’s our first time winning.”
The win capped an 11-11-0 season, which began with Burnaby losing five of its first seven starts.
“We were playing like individuals,” said Dhaliwal. “Then we started to play as a team.”
Burnaby head coach Ned Forcan added it took some time for the girls, who came from a nucleus of two separate club teams, to find their stride.
“The seed was we just changed up a few positions and shored up our defence,” said Forcan, “and it’s the first year they actually got together as friends first and soccer second.”
The third-place-finishing Select boys got past North Vancouver following a second-half play by Minwoo Sung who sent Marco Sherwood in alone on a breakaway for the game-winning goal.
Nick Archibald opened the scoring for Burnaby on a penalty kick after Daniel Johnson was tripped on a breakaway in the box.
North Van knotted the scored on a free kick later in the first half despite a wide advantage in play by the Burnaby side.
Burnaby saved itself from overtime after some late heroics from keeper Oliver Morrison-Harding, who stopped a hard shot on goal, and then got timely support from Zachary Pinto, who headed the ensuing shot off the rebound off the line to preserve the win.
“We missed a lot of chances,” said Burnaby head coach Joe Pinto of the North Shore’s u-16 giantkiller. “But all in all, for me as a coach, we deserved (the win). The right team won on the day.”
North Van upset fourth-place Vancouver in the opening round and then blanked regular season champion Surrey Guildford United in the semifinals to advance.
Both Burnaby u-16 teams earned a spot in their respective Provincial Cup tournaments to be held in July.
Two other Burnaby Selects teams also made it to the B.C.s.
Burnaby’s u-13 A league boys’ champion will also play again this summer despite a shocking 3-2 loss to Surrey Guildford in an overtime shootout.
“I was lost for words. I didn’t know what to tell them,” said first-year head coach Scott Stefanek.
The Selects were five minutes away from a first-ever Coastal A Cup title following a second goal of the game by Michael Simone in the first period of overtime.
Simone also tied the score in the 35th minute of the opening half on a nice buildup in play before tucking the ball under a charging Surrey keeper from 10 yards out.
But late in the second period of OT, Surrey capitalized on a turnover in the midfield that forced the shootout.
Ethan Westbury, who just missed a glorious chance to the near post in the second half and then set up Deylen Vellios on a well-saved one-timer on goal, scored Burnaby’s only goal in the penalty kicks.
Surrey Guildford went on to win 3-1 in the shootout.
The u-15 Burnaby Selects boys also earned a spot in the upcoming provincials through a back door opportunity.