Chilliwack’s Pacific Coast Soccer League men didn’t want to just be there as the hosts. They wanted to prove they belonged.
And so, as the 2012 PCSL Challenge Cup tournament kicked off, the local lads were determined to do make their mark.
Saturday’s semi-final pitted Chilliwack against a Kamloops Heat squad that had lost just one game all season, going 8-1-3.
Given little chance to win, the underdogs started strong and kept the game scoreless at the half.
Kamloops got on the board first at the 15 minute mark of the second half on a goal by Justin Wallace, who beat Chilliwack keeper Jackie Tang with a well-placed shot.
But Chillwack responded quickly with striker Zenow Renaerts moving the ball to Connor MacMillan. MacMillan beat two defenders en-route to the net and blasted the ball by the Heat keeper from a sharp angle to level the score.
Playing in front of a sizeable, and vocal, crowd, the home team pressed on.
Renaerts put a low cross into the box, and Meekaylae Renaerts roofed it for the game winner.
Defenders Jaye Amberg, Kyle Staiger, Nick Haywood and Jordan Lam kept the Heat at bay for the remaining 15 minutes as Chilliwack pulled off the upset.
Victoria United downed West Van FC 3-2 in the other semi-final setting up a Sunday morning championship between Chilliwack and Victoria.
Missed opportunities were the story in the final.
Chilliwack failed to capitalize on four glorious opportunities, getting their lone goal off an Amberg volley. Victoria was far more efficient around the net, burying three balls for a 3-1 final.
See pcsl.org for more info.