Cougars have return engagement in Leversedge final

Over-30 Cowichan Cougars will be looking to defend the Frank Leversedge Cup championship.

Cowichan’s other soccer champions, the Over-30 Cowichan Cougars, will be looking to defend the Frank Leversedge Cup championship they won last year in a showdown with Vic West’s Div. 3 team at Layritz Park in Victoria this Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

The Cougars were surprise Leversedge Cup champions last year, but followed that up with a near-perfect run through league play this year, compiling 12 wins, one draw and just one loss while out-scoring their opponents by 66 goals.

They began tournament play with a 1-0 loss to Ladysmith, but rebounded with a 1-1 tie against Lakehill’s O30 team, then crushed the Juan de Fuca Div. 3 entry 6-0. A 3-0 win over Sooke in the quarterfinals was followed by a 2-0 win over Vic West Scottish O30 in an overtime thriller in the semifinal on March 18.

“That was definitely our most exciting game of the season,” coach Darian Achurch said. “Victoria Scottish improved steadily throughout the season and their defence and goaltending were tough to break down. Before our game they had recorded three shutouts in four games of cup play.”

This year’s team is a mix of veterans from the 2015 champions and a few new additions. Two starters had to take the year off due to pregnancies, but others have stepped up to fill the holes.

Goalie Sara Day has surrendered a measly five goals in 15 games, behind the stingy defence of Courteney McGeachy, Michelle Steeves, Joeleen Achurch and Jen Bayley.

Possession skills and speed are the hallmarks of the midfield. Marcie Welcher, Tara McCaffery, Alita Mattin and Tonya Kilmer control the centre of the pitch and create scoring opportunities, while Claudette Crisp, Abby Charron, Christine Switzer and Kathy Biro do the work on the wings.

Lara Sinclair, Jen “Curly” Lacerte, and Tanis Ballard are the explosive goal scoring threats up front, rounded out by Stacey De Lusignan, a newcomer and the team’s top scorer this year.

“I have played all over North America and this team ranks as one of my favourites,” De Lusignan said. “We have great chemistry on and off the field.”


Cowichan Valley Citizen