Whitecaps Girls fall in Surf Cup semis

Vancouver Whitecaps U-12 Girls Prospects fell 4-2 to MLV Lightning in the San Diego Surf Cup semifinals on Monday.

The Whitecaps opened scoring early, but could not hold on, as the Lightning evened the score and then struck for three more goals in a six-minute spell to sink the 'Caps.

After a record of two wins and a defeat in group play, the Whitecaps reached the semifinals on Monday by defeating Washington Crossfire on penalty kicks in the quarter-finals. Whitecaps goalkeeper Payge Pena came up big saving the final Crossfire spot kick.

The Whitecaps U-11 Girls Prospects battled hard in group play with a 1-1-1 record, but they narrowly missed the quarter-finals by the slimmest of margins on goal difference.

No Canadian team has ever won the Surf Cup, which is widely recognized as the top youth tournament in North America.

Tournament Recaps

Each age group contained four groups, allowing for three games each. Group play began on Saturday, culminating with the championship finals on Monday.

Whitecaps U-12 Girls

The Whitecaps U-12 Girls were drawn into a tough Group C.

They opened play on Saturday by upsetting the number-one ranked team in the United States, and reigning Region 4 champions from Northern California in the Mustang Soccer Club 1-0, Sam Dion scored the game's only goal off an Aman Shergill corner.

They followed that up with an afternoon game, where they defeated the Maryland state champions Potomac Arsenal 5-0. Goals by Shergill, Chelsea Harkins, Nikki Turney, Cassandra Silveri, and Chelsea Harkins were the difference for the Whitecaps.

On Sunday, the U-12 'Caps completed group play against the defending Surf Cup champions in So Cal Blues, with the Whitecaps losing 1-0. Despite the loss, the Whitecaps advanced to meet Washington Crossfire in the quarter-finals.

On Monday, the 'Caps lost 4-2 against tough competitors MLV Lightning in the semifinals. The Whitecaps scored in the fifth minute, but then gave up a goal in 10th minute before conceding three more goals in a six-minute spell. The Whitecaps subsequently hit the crossbar and the post before they closed out the scoring with a late consolation goal to make the final scoreline 4-2.

Whitecaps U-11 Girls

The Whitecaps U-11 Girls opened group play against the number-two team from Northern California in Elk Grove Everton by winning 1-0 on a goal by Reetu Johal. In Saturday’s second game, the U-11 Girls played the number-seven ranked team in the United States in Arsenal FC, where they unfortunately dropped a 3-0 result.

The Whitecaps wrapped up group play on Sunday against Lightning GU12 Red from California South. A goal by Johal gave the Whitecaps a 1-1 draw, which left them tied with the Lightning on points, but they were eliminated from reaching the quarter-finals, as the 'Caps had given up one more goal over their three group games.