Cowichan VISL teams return to the pitch this Saturday

Three matches on tap at Sherman Road

The Cowichan 49ers’ Darren Meiner battles a UVic Alumni player during the Tony Grover Cup championship match at Westhills Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Kelly Wallace photo)

The Cowichan 49ers’ Darren Meiner battles a UVic Alumni player during the Tony Grover Cup championship match at Westhills Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 19. (Kelly Wallace photo)

Just two weeks after a narrow loss in the final of the 2020 Tony Grover Cup tournament, the Cowichan 49ers will be embarking on the 2020-21 Vancouver Island Soccer League masters season this weekend.

The 49ers will take the field at the Sherman Road turf at 6 p.m. this Saturday, playing host to the same UVic Alumni team that beat them 2-1 on Sept. 19, finally loosening Cowichan’s three-year stranglehold on the cup.

That will be just one of three VISL games on a busy day at the turf. The Cowichan Farm Store Fury will open the Div. 3 season at 4 p.m., and the Cowichan Steelheads will play their first match of the masters season at 8 p.m.

In Div. 1, Cowichan FC has this weekend off.

The teams will have to play by some new rules this year, thanks to the coronavirus.

“It’s going to be strange,” Cowichan player-manager Neall Rowlings acknowledged. “But we are going to enforce all COVID rules to ensure we can keep competing.”

The Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association is looking to kick off its season later this month. Cowichan plans to field just one team this year, in Div. 2.

“We had to postpone the over-30 season for the women due to numbers and health concerns,” Rowlings explained. “We don’t want to go backwards but sometimes you have to take the path of least resistance.”

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