Cougars players celebrate a goal during a home game earlier this season. (Citizen file)

Twin wins for Div. 2 and Cougars

Both teams beat Prospect Lake 2-1 in Shergold Cup play

Cowichan’s two Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association teams both won their last games of the Stephanie Shergold Cup round robin last weekend, and the similarities don’t end there.

Both teams defeated Prospect Lake teams by identical 2-1 scores at Layritz Park, as the Cowichan Cougars prevailed over their over-30A counterparts on Friday night and Cowichan’s Div. 2 team beat Prospect’s Div. 2 squad on Sunday.

The Cougars went into their match on Friday with only 11 players, and wondered if they would even be able to finish the game. Head coach Darian Achurch was also unavailable as he played goal in a Div. 1 men’s game at the same time. Don Waddy filled in for him.

“All the girls stepped up and played really well,” said Venessa McDowell, who filled in at sweeper for the injured Courtenay McGeachy. “We had some ladies playing in new positions and some who needed subs but we kept playing through it.”

Jenna Waddy, the newest addition to the Cougars’ roster, scored both Cowichan goals early in the first half. Goalkeeper Sara Tweten took over after that, turning aside repeated attacks by Prospect Lake. The opposing side eventually scored one in the second half, but that was all the Cougars would allow.

Not to be outdone, the Cowichan Div. 2 team travelled to Victoria with eight players and Tiara Enger as a volunteer goalie, and still came away with a victory.

“Tiara was unreal in net,” coach Darbi Aitchison said. “She was a big presence, stayed positive with her communication, and kept us in the game with a number of key saves.

“We knew we were going to be short numbers, but weren’t sure we would be that short. We went with the attitude to survive and the girls did far more than that. They pulled together with some incredible movement and team flow between positions, allowing players to push when they could and rest when they needed. Every lady on that field deserves the win they achieved.”

Kiera Martin scored in the first half, and Mariah Thomas added one in the second half.

“Mariah was fundamental in our offensive drive,” Aitchison said. “She stayed high with three or more Prospect players on her at all times, but always challenged to win the ball and kept possession by finding whatever support she had to use.”

Both Cowichan teams finish the Shergold Cup round robin with 1-2 records and will miss the playoffs, but they were pleased with their performances.

“We played extremely well in all three matches of the tournament,” coach Darian Achurch said proudly. “If we didn’t have the toughest draw of the cup, we definitely would be moving on to the next round.”

The Div. 2 team has one league game left against Fernwood on March 23, while the Cougars are off until the Provincial Cup tournament starts in April.

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