Skill and sportsmanship on display at Special Olympics soccer qualifier

Sportsmanship was the name of the game at the Island qualifier for the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games late last month.

Sportsmanship was the name of the game as the Cowichan Sportsplex played host to the Island qualifier for the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games late last month.

A team from Victoria won the tournament, beating the Cowichan Crushers 2-1 in the final, but the Cowichan team might still get to attend provincials, or the Victoria team might opt to pick up players from Cowichan or Nanaimo.

The Crushers lost their first game 3-1 to Victoria 1, then beat Campbell River 4-0. They met Victoria 1 again in the closely contested championship game.

“It was a good final,” said Dave Kohse, who coached the Crushers along with Lauren Smythies. “There were a few good shots. Everybody played well.”

In addition to the sportsmanship shown by all the players, some good soccer was played as well, according to Kohse.

“A lot of people were quite impressed with the skill level,” he said.

Zach Carlow was named the Crushers’ team MVP for the tournament, while Dakota Carlow, goalkeeper Duane Horsman and defensive stalwart Darien Tielmans were also among Cowichan’s top players. Cody Anderson, also representing Cowichan, won the male skills competition.

The 2017 Special Olympics BG Summer Games will qualify athletes for the 2018 Canada Games.