Must-win situation for Cougars

Staff ~ The Truro Daily News
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Cobequid need to take down North Nova to keep season alive

TRURO – It’s crunch time for the Cobequid Cougars.

Zoe Francis of the Cobequid Cougars launches a shot at teammate and keeper Madison Munroe during practice Wednesday at the Timbits Soccer Complex on Park Street. The Cougars host the North Nova Gryphons at 4:30 p.m. today at CEC Field in a Northumberland region semifinal match. The winner moves on to next week’s final against the Dr, John Hugh Gillis Royals. Matthew Veno – Truro Daily News

TRURO – It’s crunch time for the Cobequid Cougars.

If the girls soccer squad wants to extend its season deeper into the fall and start checking off the goals it set for itself at the start of the season, it must win this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. when it hosts the North Nova Gryphons at CEC Field in its Northumberland region semifinal.

The winner moves on to meet the No. 1-seeded Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals in the regional final Oct. 17 in Antigonish.

“It’s very important,” senior Cougars midfielder Alea Power said. “If we don’t win we won’t make it to the championship in Antigonish. Our season rests on this game.”

Based on what’s already happened between the two sides earlier this season, the Cougars come in as the favoured side to move on. Cobequid throttled North Nova 6-1 in their last meeting and took their only other engagement of the season in a 3-1 decision. But senior Cougars defender/striker Rachel Hirtle said she and her teammates can’t be content.

“You can’t rest easy on past results,” she said. “It’s all about how you play today.”

The Cougars learned that lesson the hard way last year. After dominating regional play all season, the Cougars were shocked by the Royals in an upset in the regional final.

“We’re not leaving it to chance,” Power said. “We want to make sure we get in there and get some goals and make sure we win in order to move on.”

The Cougars had a chance to avoid today’s match in their final regular season game last week against the Royals. A win by a three-goal cushion would have launched the Cougars to top spot and into the regional final with a bye. But a lack of offence for Cobequid resulted in the Cougars being forced to settle with a 1-1 draw.

Cougars coach Trevor Gordon has gone about fixing that this week, switching from a single-striker formation to putting two attackers up front.

“I think it’s going to give us more chances to score,” Power said. “Hopefully it will help us win the game.”

Gordon said having to fight to get to the regional final is not something his squad is used to after dominating the region for the past five seasons. But that also serves as a motivating factor for his players to rally around.

“It’s been a bit of a wake-up call that we have to step our game up some because (Gillis) have a good squad,” he said. “So hopefully we win our game (today) and we play Gillis in the final. We’ve done pretty good. We have a good team, we just haven’t been in the win column as much.”

On Twitter: @tdnmatt




Organizations: North Nova Gryphons, Royals

Geographic location: Antigonish, Northumberland

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