Prospects Men lose 3-1 to Kamloops


Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Men fell 3-1 at home to Kamloops Excel in Pacific Coast Soccer League action on Saturday afternoon.

Though Ben Hemphill gave Bart Choufour's side the lead with a first-half penalty, second half strikes from Oliver Schuwchow, Connor Doherty, and Peter Loncar gave the BC Interior outfit all three points at Simon Fraser University's Terry Fox Field.

It was the visitors that created the first chance in the PCSL Premier Division encounter, with Hatem Abdulghader striking a shot just wide for the Excel on nine minutes.

Four minutes later, Kamloops midfielder Brett Nordin brought an excellent save out of Prospects goalkeeper Michael Branion-Calles, who redirected the ball off his crossbar before Doherty picked up the rebound and shot wide of the target.

Playing in a 4-3-3 formation and with men's first-team members Mason Trafford and Luca Bellisomo in the centre of defence, the Whitecaps response came before the midway point of the first half, with Adrian Bears making a forward run before rolling a shot wide on 19 minutes, while Milad Mehrabi forced Kamloops goalkeeper Aaron Kidd into a sliding save three minutes later.

On 40 minutes, Vancouver took the lead through Hemphill's spot kick after Ian Clark was brought down in the Excel box after getting on the end of a Gavin Barrett cross from the left.

Though the Prospects had the one-goal lead at halftime, Kamloops turned the game around after the restart. Substitute Chris Monteleone forced Branion-Calles into a save with his free kick on 58 minutes.

On the hour mark, the Excel pulled level when Schuwchow struck home at close range to make it 1-1.

The goal inspired Kamloops, and after Jamie Spendlove and Erkut Sonmez had chances for the Excel, Doherty claimed the winner on 85 minutes with a fine finish from the edge of the box for 2-1.

A minute later, Loncar sealed the three points for Kamloops, as he caught Branion-Calles off his goalline with his long-distance strike for the Excel's third goal of the game.

For Choufour, the disappointment of Saturday's defeat came in how Kamloops' three goals were conceded. "It's been a little bit our story this season," he told whitecapsfc.com after the game. "Our inexperience in defending in certain situations has hurt us in games. That's disappointing today because it was clearly a game that we could have won."

The Prospects Men will now take a two-week break before meeting the Excel in the return PCSL encounter at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops in Saturday, July 12. That will be followed by a trip to Kelowna for a game with Okanagan Challenge at the Apple Bowl on Sunday, July 13.

Whitecaps Prospects Men - line-up v Kamloops Excel
1.Michael Branion-Calles; 12.Flo Liu, 24.Harry Lakhan, 32.Mason Trafford, 35.Luca Bellisomo; 4.Lawrence Buchan, 14.Ben Hemphill; 17.Milad Mehrabi; 2.Gavin Barrett, 9.Adrian Bears, 11.Ian Clark

Subs used: 18.Max Maund, 26.Ashley Ankiewicz