Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Prospects teams opened Day One of San Diego Surf Cup XXIX with indifferent results on Saturday.
The U-18 Girls had a fine first day, as they claimed two victories over California-based opposition, while the U-18 Boys had to settle for a pair of 1-1 draws from their opening two games of the tournament.
Click here for Surf Cup results and standings
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Girls 3 - Real So Cal White 1
The Whitecaps U-18 Girls defeated the reigning California South state champions Real So Cal White 3-1 in their first Bracket C match on Saturday.
The 'Caps began strong with an attack by Alicia Tesan down the left flank. She played a ball through to Jenna DiNunzio, who cleverly cut past a defender before playing Nicole Setterlund in on the Real So Cal goalkeeper. Her shot, however, was well saved by the diving keeper to her left.
The Whitecaps broke through on 28 minutes after some good build-up ended with Nikki Ambrose swinging a ball in from the left-hand side to Janine Frazao, who headed the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal for a 1-0 Vancouver lead at the break.
Then five into the second half, Katie Turney swung in a corner from the left-hand side that went past everyone and off the far post before finding the back of the net to make it 2-0.
On 39 minutes, another corner from Turney found Jennifer Castillo, who took a touch then volleyed the ball in off the crossbar to make it 3-0 Whitecaps.
Real So Cal were able to score a consolation goal on 49 minutes, with their striker winning the ball and going in to finish past 'Caps goalkeeper Gurveen Clair for 3-1 final score.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Girls 2 - De Anza Force SC '91 Blue 1
The Whitecaps defeated another state champion side in the form of California North's De Anza Force SC '91 Blue 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The match started off in similar fashion to their first game for the 'Caps. On eight minutes, Katie Turney swung in a corner that bounced to Nicole Setterlund, who volleyed her shot over the crossbar from five yards out.
Both teams battled hard, with few chances for either team - thanks to some strong defensive work. It was 0-0 at halftime.
The Whitecaps made three changes after the break, with the moves leading to the game's first goal four minutes after the restart. An Alicia Tesan corner found Erin Uchacz at the back post. She out-jumped everyone to power the ball into the top left corner of the goal for 1-0. De Anza then replied on 39 minutes with a goal from a corner of their own to make it 1-1.
The Whitecaps soon pressed for the winner, and with five minutes remaining, were rewarded with a six-pass combination that ended in Jenna DiNunzio crossing the ball from the right-hand side to Tesan, who then put the ball past the De Anza keeper for 2-1.
The Prospects now lead Bracket C after the first day of action in San Diego, with their third and final group match coming on Sunday morning versus Real Colorado National.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Boys 1 - Long Island Junior Soccer League ODP 1
Looking to build on last year's run to the Surf Cup final, the Whitecaps U-18 Boys had to settle for a 1-1 draw with the Long Island Junior Soccer League's Olympic Development Team from New York State in their first match in Bracket D.
The 'Caps started off the match well by pressing and creating some small chances right from the start. The aid of a strong wind certainly helped the Prospects in the first half.
On 14 minutes, Jordan Whitehead headed the ball from the top of the 18-yard box right into the path of a streaking Jerome Lou, who finished calmly to make it 1-0 to Vancouver. Ten minutes later, Ashley Ankiewicz headed the ball off the post and away to safety.
The Whitecaps kept pressing for the second goal, but lacked the finish to capitalize on their domination in possession and chances.
The second half was a different matter, as the wind started to blow even stronger and the Whitecaps found it difficult to deal with the long ball tactics of the Long Island side.
In the end, a moment of hesitation in the 'Caps backline that allowed the Long Island striker to get one by goalkeeper Matt Robinson and secure a 1-1 draw.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Boys 1 - Bay Oaks Gold '91 1
The U-18 Boys endured more frustration later on Saturday afternoon, as they also drew 1-1 with Bay Oaks Gold '91 from the California North region.
After an opening 15 minutes that saw little chances, the Whitecaps started to dominate proceedings. In the 18th minute, the 'Caps got on the scoresheet, and in fortunate circumstances. A long ball from Rhys Volkenant was flicked on to Nolan Moore, who aggressively pursued the loose ball, while the Bay Oaks goalkeeper came flying out of his goal. It seemed that without Moore even getting contact, the ball continued its path towards goal and int the back of the net for a 1-0 Whitecaps lead.
Three minutes later, it was Moore again who struck a superb volley to the top corner of the goal after a pass by Adam Staschuk. However, the Bay Oaks goalkeeper made a spectacular diving save to keep it 1-0 to Vancouver at the break.
Despite playing into the wind going after halftime, the young 'Caps continued to dominate the start of the second half. However, six minutes after the restart, a combination of soft tackling and an ill-timed square pass in the midfield that left Rhys Volkenant to deal with the mess in the back. After a 50-50 challenge that made both Volkenant and the Bay Oaks striker go to the ground, the referee awarded Bay Oaks a penalty. The Bay Oaks player made no mistake from the spot and leveled the score at 1-1.
For the remainder of the match, the Whitecaps kept pressing hard for another goal, and came close on a rocket off a set-piece by Jordan Whitehead. In the end, however, the Whitecaps had to settle for another draw.
The good news for the 'Caps is that all teams in Bracket D have taken points from each other. This leaves the Blue and White with it in their own hands to go through to the quarterfinals, should they defeat FC San Diego B91 Gold on Sunday.