In 2019, the Cowichan Cougars reached the final of the BC Soccer Women’s Masters B Cup only to fall to Meralomas United in a heartbreaker.
The provincials went on hiatus for the next two seasons, but those teams are picking up right where they left off.
Three years since their last meeting, the Cougars are set for a championship rematch with Meralomas this coming Saturday.
“It was a very tight game last time, one that could have gone either way,” Cougars coach Darian Achurch admits. “We have to travel to the Mainland this time, but I still think we are a stronger team.”
The Cougars advanced to the final thanks to a dominant 11-0 victory over the Langley Lunachicks in a semifinal at the Sherman Road turf last Saturday. Playing in their first provincial tournament, the Lunachicks drew a bye into the semis, but ended up travelling to the Island without some of their stronger players.
The Cougars pounced early, controlling the game from the outset as the Lunachicks struggled to get the ball over half. Stacey de Lusignan scored two of her three goals in the first five minutes, drilling the second in directly from a corner kick. Jenna Waddy, Ashley Stultz, Mel Findlater, Jen Mann, Claudette Crisp and Ali Garnett also got in on the scoring, while Cowichan keeper Sara Tweten had little to do to secure her second consecutive shutout in the provincial tournament.
It was a far cry from Cowichan’s opening round match, which saw them vanquish their Island rivals, Castaways, in a thrilling 2-0 battle.
“It was a bit of a strange game, after having such an intense matchup last week in our quarterfinal,” Crisp acknowledged. “But that is how it goes with random draws in tournaments. You never know who you will get.”
The Cougars will be playing the provincial final on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Burnaby Lakes Sports Complex.