The Cowichan FC LMS Pringle is out of the running for the Div. 1 provincial men’s championship, but not before giving it their all in front of a Ladysmith audience at the turf field.
The two-time Jackson Cup champs kicked off the 16-team single-elimination tournament against Vancouver Columbus FC and took a narrow 1-0 loss Saturday afternoon.
But after losing only three games in the 24-game schedule, the team has plenty to be proud of.
“It’s the best season we’ve had,” said head coach Glen Martin. “It’s nice to know that we can compete with the big teams in Vancouver, without a doubt. It shows that we’re right there as far as being one of the top teams in B.C.”
By halftime, Saturday’s game was scoreless, but not without several good attempts on net.
“We had a really good start to the game,” Martin said. “The first 30 minutes, we had a lot of [ball] possession.”
Things heated up in the second half, when Columbus drew first blood with the sole goal of the game.
Despite a breakaway by Cowichan’s Brian Carrier, the team was unable to answer the goal.
“It was a little bit unlucky,” Martin said. “In soccer, the first goal is so important, because it’s so hard to come back in soccer.”
Adding to that was a little unsportsmanlike conduct on the field.
“For a big team, they played like a bunch of babies, faking injuries; it was not very impressive,” Martin said of Columbus.
Cowichan began its season in September, with training beginning in August.
Ladysmith boys Jesse Winter, Matt Arnett and Ryan Andre have been solid players for the team.
The addition of Chris Arnett, Matt’s younger brother, in November was a great boost to the season, Martin said.
“He brings a lot of speed and skill and energy,” he said.
Martin said he would like to give thanks to the Town of Ladysmith for the use of Forrest Field for games and practices, and thanks to the fans who came out to the games to cheer the team on.
“We really appreciate the support, that’s for sure; the players like it, and it helps them play better,” Martin said. “It was a great season.”