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Hornets, Crocs lead Cowichan contingent to successful Slurpee Cup

The U15 Cowichan Crocs won gold at the Slurpee Cup tournament in Kamloops over May long weekend. (Submitted photo)

Cowichan Soccer Association teams were well represented at the recent Slurpee Cup soccer tournament in Kamloops over the May long weekend. Four CVSA Girls teams competed at the showcase event, including the U12 Stingers, U14 Hornets, U15 Crocs and U18 women. The club posted a combined record of 12 wins, two losses and two draws over three days.

The U12 Stingers played in the top tier in their first ever tournament. With matches against Langley, Vernon and two different Kamloops teams, the girls dominated with goal contributions distributed across the entire group. Goaltenders Nina Arias, Azzy Ryan, Lily Heppell and Stella Wismer all recorded shutouts.

There was no championship game for this age group, however the girls outscored their opponents 14 to one, and were the only undefeated team in the division.

“They were by far the most fun team as well!” coach Stacey DeLusignan proudly added.

Cowichan’s U18 girls, who normally compete at tier 3, stepped into some robust competition by playing up a division. The team got off to a slow start against North Shore but found their footing in the second game earning a tie against Prince George and finishing strong with a win over Sea to Sky in their final game.

“It’s impossible for us to name a tournament MVP, as the entire team played so well,” noted coach Luke Massey. Coach Dan Lomas added: “The whole team came together to make this tournament a great experience.”

U14 Hornets played in the tier 3 division against teams from Vernon, Squamish, Kamloops and Nelson, and similar to their U12 club-mates, proved a difficult challenge to their opposition.

Goalie Maddy Prince suffered a hand injury in the first game but continued on to amass three clean sheets over four matches, conceding only one goal in the finals. Prince was helped offensively by her teammates who scored an impressive 13 goals through eight different players.

It was a fantastic team effort,” said coach Eric Nelson.

The Hornets won the championship game deservedly against Nelson and added another piece of hardware to their growing trophy case.

U15 Cowichan Crocs found the final piece that was missing during their regular season to battle through their first tournament, and according to Coach George White: “That piece was teamwork”.

With close-scoring games and goals from Chloe Roscoe, Kaliya Douglas and Lenix Williams-Crawford, the Crocs fended off tough teams from Whitehorse, Williams Lake and Quesnel for a chance against the favored Nelson Selects in the finals. Led by goalkeeper Nola Connelly and their impenetrable defensive line, the game had to be settled by shootout. Still tied after five shooters, Connelly scored the sixth and decisive spot kick, and the jubilant Crocs raised their first trophy.

All coaches and CVSA members were impressed with how well-run tournament was with more than 180 teams participating. Further to that, club advocate George White added: “It was nice to see the girls being good ambassadors for the sport and the club, and that we are able to compete at the same level of other clubs around the province.”