Having already clinched their fourth straight Garrison Cup as Vancouver Island Soccer League Div. 1 champions, all Cowichan LMG had left to accomplish in their season finale on Sunday was to set club records for both wins and points.
LMG came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat second-place Vic West 4-2 at PISE, collecting their 15th win of the season and raising their point total to 46, both the best numbers ever for a Cowichan Div. 1 entry.
“I’m proud of this team,” Cowichan head coach Glen Martin said. “The group we have this year, it’s amazing — with seven returning guys, to have the most points and wins in a season, it’s a pretty special group. No matter what happens now, this was one of my favourite years coaching. I’m really happy with this year. I hope we keep going.”
“It was a hard game to win,” Martin said. “It was a little hard to get motivated for.”
Cowichan got off to a decent start, but Vic West opened the scoring around the 30-minute mark, and made it 2-0 soon after. Craig Gorman got Cowichan on the board shortly before halftime, providing a huge boost for his team.
Jordan Korven tied the game in the second half, finishing off a set piece that started with Gorman and went off Paddy Nelson before the Vic West goalie bobbled it. New signing Billy Bagiopoulos put Cowichan ahead, then added an insurance goal.
“It was a nice debut,” Martin said of Bagiopoulos, a Powell River product who has also played for the VIU Mariners and the Mid Isle U21 team, putting up prolific numbers everywhere he has stopped. “He’s a good young player. We need bodies, and he’s a good one. He knows how to score goals. Some guys just have a knack for it.”
League play now wrapped up, Cowichan will turn their attention back to the Jackson Cup tournament. After winning their opening-round game, LMG will face Nanaimo next, in a rematch of last year’s cup final this Saturday at Merle Logan Park at 7 p.m. Nanaimo won the marathon final last spring, and won’t be easy to knock off.
“We’ve played them twice this season and beat them twice,” Martin noted. “But this is the Jackson Cup, so they’ll probably be more geared up for it. It will be a really good battle, for sure.”