Five local girls are representing the region on the Kootenay zone soccer team for the upcoming B.C. Summer Games, which begins this week on Vancouver Island.
Dawson Downie, Alyssa Berkheim, Mackenzie Fulton, Kiara Ker and Lucy Lalach are all coming out of Cranbrook to join eight other girls from Nelson and one from Rossland to compete at the Games in Nanaimo.
The Kootenay zone held a pair of tryouts in Castlegar and Cranbrook earlier this year, with roughly 25 U12/11 players vying for 14 spots.
The roster was eventually solidified and the team has met a couple times for practices and games to tune up for the Games.
Downie, a forward who plays in the KEYSA Rovers system, is anticipating her Summer Games experience.
“I’m looking forward to competing and playing other teams and just being there,” Downie said.
After an email circulated through the KEYSA team that there were open tryouts, she jumped at the opportunity for a chance to participate in the Summer Games.
“[Tryouts] was really fun because we got to meet girls from other cities that we play soccer with,” Downie said. “We had to do a fitness test and that was hard because we had to push ourselves.”
Her teammate, Lucy Lalach, is just as eager to get down to business, with her sights set on being at the top of the standings.
“I’m looking forward to going to Nanaimo and wanting to win the gold medal,” said Lalach.
Lalach, a goalkeeper, has been playing soccer since she was three years old and says the team has bonded pretty well.
“At first it felt kind of weird, because we played against them, but you also wanted to be friends with them,” Lalach said.
“But since the last camp, we’re all pretty good friends now.”