From the LISA Cup to District finals

Cowichan’s U13 Silver girls soccer team keeps running into the same team in big games.

Cowichan’s U13 Silver girls soccer team keeps running into the same team in big games.

The Cowichan girls earned their first win over Juan de Fuca in the LISA Cup final last month and are hoping to make it two in a row against that team in the District Cup final after a win in the semifinals last weekend.

In three previous meetings this season, Cowichan hadn’t been able to beat JDF. That changed on Feb. 13 when Cowichan won 1-0 in the LISA Cup final. Blaire Murray scored the only goal of the game around the 80th minute.

“I’ve never seen such a hard-working group of girls,” coach Ryan Giles said.

In the District Cup semifinal at Evans Field in Duncan last Saturday, Cowichan squared off with Lakehill, the winner of the bronze division. Facing a bronze team might have sounded easy at first, but Lakehill wasn’t your typical bronze team.

“They could have been one of the best teams we played all year,” Giles noted. “They didn’t lose a single game all year in their division and had victories like 11-1 and 9-0.”

The game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation after a late goal by Lakehill, and 3-3 after two 10-minute overtimes, this time thanks to a late goal by Cowichan’s Lily Thorne. That led to a shootout that required seven different players from each team to take a turn before it was decided. Cowichan goalkeeper Ema-Leigh Joe managed to out-duel her opponent with five saves on seven attempts.

A rematch against a JDF team that will be eager for revenge now awaits Cowichan in the District Cup final in Victoria on April 2.

From humble beginnings, the Cowichan girls have come a long way.

“It’s been up and down,” Giles said. “We started with a bunch of kids who didn’t know each other.”