Cowichan United’s impressive debut season in U21 soccer came to an end last Saturday with a 2-0 loss to EDC Burnaby in the first round of the provincial tournament.
“It’s unfortunate for sure,” Cowichan assistant coach Ryan Fusick said. “Outside of the scoreline, I thought the team played well. We had two mental lapses, and they scored on both of them. We missed a couple of opportunities we normally wouldn’t have.”
Cowichan trailed by two at halftime, and despite dominating play in the second half, couldn’t solve the Burnaby goalkeeper.
“In the second half we were by far the better team,” Fusick said.
“We must have had at last 10 pretty good opportunities. Props to EDC’s goalie. He was definitely the man of the match as far as their team goes.
“Our team put in a really good effort. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the net.”
In their first season together, Cowichan United finished a close third in the Vancouver Island Soccer League U21 division, and won the George Smith Cup as Island playoff champs. The youngest team in the league, Cowichan will see only one player age out: captain Tyson Black, who was injured 10 minutes into Saturday’s game, while a few others are headed to post-secondary, where some will certainly play for their schools.
“It was a good year, winning the cup, not finishing too far off top spot in the division,” Fusick commented.
Fusick emphasized what an excellent job head coach Tyler Hughes did of turning the first-year team into a contender.
“Without him, the boys wouldn’t have gotten where they got,” he said.