Okanagan FC forward Darrell Plantz holds off opposing team defenders at Kelowna’s Apple Bowl in June. (One10 Photography)

Okanagan FC forward Darrell Plantz holds off opposing team defenders at Kelowna’s Apple Bowl in June. (One10 Photography)

Ousted at league playoffs, Okanagan FC reflect on season’s end

OKFC lost 2-1 in the knockout playoff game against the leagues’s top team

It wasn’t the Cinderella story ending Okanagan FC were hoping for in this year’s Pacific Coast Soccer League playoffs.

OKFC were barely bested by the league’s top team in a 2-1 loss on July 27, ultimately ending their season.

The Kelowna squad came into the playoffs as the fourth seed, tasked with a tough initial matchup against the hometown team Victoria Highlanders, who lost only one game at home all season and outscored opponents 40 to 13 all year.

OKFC held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first half, before Victoria netted two goals in two minutes in the second half.

Despite the loss, OKFC held their heads high.

“Couldn’t be more proud of the guys and their effort,” said coach Andrew Stevenson.

“Victoria is a different beast on their home field, and we got so close to causing a big upset.

”It makes the result a bit more bitter to know we were that close, but we’re proud to finish fourth after giving Victoria a really good go.”

READ MORE: Okanagan Dream Rally looks to hit over $1M in funding this year

A mental lapse in concentration for only two minutes was enough for Victoria to snatch the lead away from OKFC in the opening minutes of the second half.

Okanagan FC pressed hard in the final minutes down only a goal, but were unable get another against the hometown team.

“When you play the genuine top players on the top teams, two minutes is enough to seal a game. We collapsed for two minutes and they have the quality players that can capitalize on that,” said Stevenson.

READ MORE: Future unknown for Kelowna seniors’ activity centre

Almost 30 players made an appearance for OKFC throughout the year due to injuries to the roster.

Balancing a large group of players and their injuries all the while finishing fourth in the league was a challenge for the first-year coach.

“If you had told me in my first season I’d be dealing with an injury list of 16 to 18 players, I’d have laughed at you,” Stevenson said.

“But how adaptive we were in bringing guys in and out was really impressive. If we didn’t have a deep group that really believed in what we were about, we wouldn’t have done as well as we did.

“All our players really played well this year.”

Injuries aside, the Kelowna team advanced to the playoffs in their first year in the PCSL.

Now, the program will take a few weeks of off-time before prepping for next season and taking the time to appreciate the team and the fans that embraced the return of high-level soccer in Kelowna.

“I want to thank everybody that came out and adopted Okanagan FC as their home team this season, the players loved it,” said Stevenson.

“Our challenge next year will be to develop our fan culture and experience, we want to make the fans as much a part of the team as our players.

“We’re excited for what 2020 will bring and next year, we won’t be as happy with a fourth place finish.”

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read