Ali Garnett and Savannah Wright celebrate a first-half goal against Galaxy in the provincial semifinal at the Sherman Road turf on Saturday, while Cowichan Cougars teammate Stacey De Lusignan (right) runs in to join them. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cougars rocket past Galaxy to reach provincial soccer final

Cowichan will face Meralomas United in Nanaimo next Saturday

A lopsided victory on Saturday afternoon propelled the Cowichan Cougars into the provincial final in their first time qualifying for the B.C tournament.

The Cougars demolished the visiting Galaxy team from the Lower Mainland 7-0 in the semifinal showdown at the Sherman Road turf to advance to the Women’s Masters B Cup final in Nanaimo this coming weekend.

“We are so happy with the result and looking forward to the provincial final next week,” remarked Cowichan sweeper Venessa MacDowell. “We have been training hard all year to see how far we can go as a team and we just have one more game to win.”

The game started at noon, and Cowichan had the match firmly in hand by 12:15 p.m. as Joeleen Achurch opened the scoring with a header off a corner kick by Stacey de Lusignan at the six-minute mark, and then de Lusignan scored one of her own two minutes later. Ashley Stultz, who has taken on a larger role commanding the Cowichan midfield this year, made it 3-0 at the 15-minute mark.

“We controlled the match well from the start,” noted coach Darian Achurch. “We were not sure what to expect from this team as we have never played them and didn’t know much about them.”

The Cougars continued to dominate the match, making it 4-0 before halftime on a goal by speedy newcomer Savannah Wright.

In the second half, the Cougars focused on possession and controlling the pace of play, but still managed to create further scoring chances. De Lusignan and Stultz both added their second goals of the afternoon, and MacDowell scored the final goal of the match on a strong individual effort after moving into the midfield.

The Cougars will face Vancouver’s Meralomas United for the provincial championship this Saturday at Merle Logan Field in Nanaimo, starting at 11 a.m. Meralomas also won their semifinal in convincing fashion, beating Sunshine FC 8-1 in North Vancouver on Sunday.

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Cowichan’s Ashley Stultz zips past a Galaxy player during Saturday’s semifinal. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Savannah Wright

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