Third time’s the charm.
The Cowichan Cougars hadn’t beaten Castaways in their first two meetings of the O30 women’s soccer season. In fact, Castaways was the only team to beat Cowichan — once in the regular season and again in the Stephanie Shergold Cup final.
But Cowichan turned the tables when the teams met again for the third and final time last Friday night, winning 2-0 in a provincial Women’s Masters B Cup quarterfinal matchup at the Sherman Road turf.
“It was a great game between two very closely matched teams,” Cougars coach Darian Achurch remarked. “The previous two games were close but we couldn’t get the bounces to go our way. Tonight was a different story.”
The game was deadlocked for the first 30 minutes before Tonya Kilmer intercepted the ball and sprang Stacey de Lusignan free. De Lusignan slipped around her defender and sent the ball toward the net, where Monni Savory — a former Castaways player — slid it into the corner to put the Cougars in front.
The teams resumed trading chances after halftime, with Cowichan’s best opportunity coming off a corner when Joeleen Achurch volleyed the ball to the top corner, forcing the Castaways keeper to make a diving save. Sara Tweten made several remarkable saves of her own without allowing a rebound.
The Cougars finally doubled their lead with less than five minutes remaining when Jenna Waddy broke between two defenders and finished off a breakaway on a terrific individual effort. A team effort helped Cowichan fend off Castaways’ late push until the final whistle blew.
“It was a huge game for our team,” defender Ali Garnett said. “When we work together and play as a team for each other, there is no stopping us.”
Cowichan will play host to the Langley Lunachicks on the Sherman Road turf this Saturday at noon, with the winner booking a ticket to the provincial final.