New Westminster Barcelona proved the superiority of system over substance at the B.C. Soccer Provincial A Cup in Kamloops.
Barca defeated their closest rival Coquitlam Metro-Ford Galaxy 2-1 in the under-15 girls' gold-medal championship final on Sunday, winning the Royal City Youth Soccer Club's firstever Provincial A Cup by a Metro team.
A day earlier, the two teams played to a 1-1 draw in group play. The Royal City team also beat the Galaxy 1-0 in the Coastal A Cup final in May.
But, with two key players, Mikayla Knowler and Carly Cody, unavailable, Barca stuck to its system and prevailed.
"It goes more to the style of the Barca team. We don't focus on cups. They will happen if they just keep passing the ball around and play possession," said New West co-coach Gary Hutchinson. "It sounds like we do a lot of work, but it really happens on the practice field."
New Westminster struck early in the provincial final, with Alessia Mastromonaco and Tia Lore teaming up in the second minute to spring Juliet Davies for the game's first goal.
Then again in the 16th minute, Ellen Williams and Sarah Ng, combined to free up Rachel Hutchinson, who beat two defenders before sending Lore away on a successful breakaway.
Royal City defended Coquitlam's long-ball game well, with u-15 silver-level callup Zoe Loewen filling in well alongside fullbacks Celeste Bain, Naomi Noda, Ng and Mastromonaco and midfielders Ally Fabian, Ellen Williams.
U-14 silver callup Sarah McCarthy subbed at midfield in the second half and was involved in a number of scoring chances.
Montana Wegner, Madison Lee, Fabian, Lore and Hutchinson all had good scoring chances, but without the finish of the first half. Metro-Ford ruined the shutout bid of Kristan Rodrigues on a free kick in the second minute of added time.
Barcelona opened the fourteam competition with a 2-1 win over the host Kamloops Blaze at MacArthur Island Park.
A series of miscues in the ninth minute led to the Blaze opening the score.
But, Royal City stuck to its system and levelled the score in the 20th minute on a hard shot by Wegner.
Hutchinson, who set up Wegner for the 1-1 goal, finally broke the stalemate in the 74th minute, outrunning the last defender for the ball and nailing a low shot behind the Kamloops keeper.
Barca earned a spot in the A Cup final following a 5-1 victory over Victoria Bays United on the Friday.
Hutchinson and Lore both scored a pair of goals, while Wegner gave the New West club a 3-1 lead just before halftime.
Wegner also scored New West's only goal in the meannothing group draw with the Galaxy on Saturday.
Next season, the Barcelona squad will test its system in the u-17/18 girls' division.
"We're looking to challenge the girls. We'd like to get to the provincials again, but it's a big step up for them. The focus is playing better soccer," said coach Hutchinson. "Everyone defends and everyone attacks. It's a style we taught them from the beginning."
In other Provincial A Cup finals, the u-13 Burnaby Selects won the boys' title with a 6-1 victory over Coquitlam Metro-Ford Millenium.
The u-18 Burnaby Selects also earned a silver medal at the provincials following a 2-1 loss to Central City Pegasus in the final.
The Burnaby Girls Strikers placed fourth in the u-18 A Cup consolation final 3-2 to Surrey FC Pegasus.
Burnaby also brought home a second-place medal from the Provincial B Cup in Aldergrove.
The South Burnaby Metro Club Vipers earned the silver medal following a 2-0 loss to Central City.
Cliff Avenue United finished in fifth place with a 3-2 win over Shuswap on penalty kicks in u-18 girls' play.