Young Challenge searching for first win

Defending champs off to slow start to Pacific Coast Soccer League season

Okanagan Challenge's Juan Sanchez (left) battles a pair of Bellingham players

It’s not always easy being the defending champs.

Just ask the 2012 edition of the Pacific Coast Soccer League’s Okanagan Challenge who are without a win five games into the new campaign.

The Challenge came up short in their first two home contests of the season, losing to Bellingham United and the Vancouver Thunderbirds over the weekend at the Apple Bowl.

With a huge turnover from last year’s squad and the youngest roster in the PCSL—an average age of around 20—the Challenge are experiencing some growing pains.

“It’s a very competitive league, the physicality of it takes some time to get used to for our younger guys, but they’re developing and gaining experience with each game,” said captain Dustin Luck, who is sidelined with a knee injury and is helping coach the team. “We’ve had teams before that have taken time to come together, so we just have to stick with it. The guys just have to keep their heads up, play hard and keep building. There’s still time to turn things around.”

On Saturday, the Challenge scored first at the four-minute mark to take a 1-0 lead but Bellingham roared back for a 5-2 victory.

Zach Donaldson-Hall and Enzo Paal scored the goals for Okanagan.

On Sunday, the Challenge were better against the Thunderbirds but still came away with a 3-1 defeat. Donaldson-Hall scored the lone marker on a PK.

“We played them well and if we could have got a couple of breaks, it may have been different,” said Luck, one of 10 players on the roster who has played for the UBCO Heat.  “It’s a learning process and I can see the guys are already getting better.”

The Challenge are on the road this weekend as they visit the Victoria Highlanders Saturday, 7 p.m. at Hampton Park.

Okanagan’s next home action in Saturday, June 9 at UBCO against Coquitlam.

 

 

Just Posted

Popular stories from the week

Every Saturday, the Capital News highlights popular stories from the week

Mining led to mass production, says UBCO prof

Without destructive mining, mass production and consumption would not be possible

Grease fire contained in West Kelowna

Crews responded at 11:40 a.m. this morning

Veteran reporter to stay at Global Okanagan

Blaine Gaffney was given a layoff notice after a miscommunication

Updated: Slippery roads cause accidents in Kelowna

A vehicle is down a 15-foot embankment off of Dilworth Drive

What’s happening

Check out what is happening this weekend in the Okanagan-Shuswap.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

Ski Patrol and SAR search for missing skier

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read