The Cowichan Cougars’ first-ever provincial cup game was a success as the over-30 women’s team defeated a shorthanded Gorge team 3-0 at the Sherman Road turf on Saturday afternoon.
“The game went exactly as we hoped it would,” Cowichan coach Darian Achurch stated. “We scored early, used our man advantage to press their defence, and didn’t allow them to get back in the game.”
Gorge was only able to muster 10 players for the match, and the Cougars were all over them from the start, with an early goal by Stacey De Lusignan, finishing off a nice pass from Ashley Stultz.
Cowichan continued to control play, but the Gorge goalkeeper had some outstanding stops to keep the score at 1-0 until just after halftime, when Gorge was briefly reduced to nine players, and Cowichan took full advantage of the mismatch by scoring again. This time it was Stultz who completed the passing play with a shot into the bottom corner.
Once Gorge’s 10th player returned to the pitch, the Victoria team started pushing hard to get back in the game, but now it was Cowichan keeper Sara Tweten’s turn to provide the heroics as she made a pair of stellar saves on short-range shots to preserve the shutout.
Late in the game, De Lusignan chipped the ball over the Gorge goalie for Jenna Waddy to finish, locking up the victory for the Cougars, and propelling the longtime team into the uncharted territory of the provincial Women’s Masters B Cup. Cowichan will play host to Mainland team Galaxy this coming Saturday at noon, looking for a spot in the B.C. final in Nanaimo on May 11.
“We are excited for the win, and excited to play an unfamiliar team from the Mainland,” Cowichan player/manager Jen Bayley said. “We have a great team that all gets along well together, and we are happy to still be playing in May.”