TRURO – The Cobequid Cougars have some unfinished business to take care of.
Cobequid Cougars teammates Jon Lynch, left, and Richard MacNevin react as the Cougars practiced penalty kicks Thursday. The Cougars take on the Dartmouth Spartans today at noon at CEC Field with a berth at the provincial championship tournament on the line. Matthew Veno – Truro Daily News
It’s been on the minds of the boys soccer squad’s players since they were forced to settle for bronze at last year’s NSSAF Division 1 championship. They set the goal this season to chase the gold that so narrowly slipped from their grasp in an overtime loss to the eventual champion Halifax West Warriors in last year’s semifinal.
That goal hinges on the result from today’s provincial qualifier against the Dartmouth Spartans at noon at CEC Field. The winner moves on to the provincial championship tournament next weekend in Coxheath.
“It’s huge,” senior Cougars midfielder Charlie Hunter said. “It’s do or die so it’s everything. We have to win.”
Dartmouth comes into the match as the Metro region’s No. 3 seed after knocking off King’s Edgehill 4-2 on Thursday in another qualifying matchup.
The Cougars, who hold a 13-0-1 record overall this season, host the game thanks to winning the Northumberland Region title last week with a 3-1 win over the Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals.
Although they’re happy to be at home, where they have been exceptional this season, for the game the Cougars are treating it just like any other match.
“We’ll play 100 per cent every time it doesn’t matter where we’re at,” centre back Jon Lynch said. “It makes no difference to us really.”
Thus far the Cougars, featuring a roster of seven seniors, have had things all their way this season. But Cobequid coach Jay Foster said his players know today’s match will provide the toughest test they’ve faced.
“They’re going to be strong and we’re certainly going to be under more pressure than we probably have all year,” Foster said. “We’re not under any illusions how difficult it’s going to be. We’ll have to play our best game of the year to get there.”
That means doing all the things Foster has preached to his players for the past three seasons.
“We just have to execute on everything he’s ben teaching us,” Lynch said. “Keeping our shape and playing the game the way its supposed to be played.
“We need to win every header and every ball on the ground because that’s what is going to win the game,” midfielder Richard MacNevin added.
Both South Colchester Wolves squads are champing at the bit to earn provincial championship berths today as well.
By virtue of claiming Northumberland Region titles in the Division 3 ranks a week ago, both Wolves squads host their opponents. The boys meet Forest Heights at 11 a.m. while the girls are set to battle Barrington at 1 p.m. Both games are at South Colchester Academy.
The boys advanced to today’s match after dispatching Springhill and East Antigonish in their regional championship.
Forest Heights nipped Ecole Carrefour on Thursday to earn a shot at the Wolves.
Barrington advanced to today’s match after Halifax Grammar withdrew from their scheduled qualifier earlier this week.
The Wolves knocked off Springhill and east Antogonish to take the regional banner.
Coach Kelly Spencer said his team just has to keep doing what it has all season to be successful today.
“We just have to play as a team,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of talented players but they buy into the team approach and work as a whole rather than individuals.”
The Wolves are a young squad with nine Grade 10 players, four Grade 11s and five seniors.
On Twitter: @tdnmatt
2013 Cobequid Cougars boys soccer
Name Gr. Home
K Andreas Foerster 11 Bible Hill
2 James Christianson 12 Truro
3 Ben Gorringe 11 Truro
4 Cameron Smith 12 Valley
5 Gabe Murray 11 Lower Onslow
6 Stefan Scholte 12 Amsterdam, Neth.
7 Mike Vanderpoel 11 North River
8 Lucas Duston 12 Upper Brookside
10 Mitchell Crowell 10 Beaverbrook
11 Max Budgey 10 Onslow
12 Richard MacNevin 12 Truro
13 Brandon Archibald 10 Lower Onslow
14 David Bradbury 10 Lower Truro
15 Brenden Wheeler 10 Valley
16 Jon Lynch 12 Bible Hill
17 Kolby Grant 10 Valley
19 Cabot Morgan 11 Bible Hill
20 Charlie Hunter 12 Lower Harmony
22 Nathan Smith 10 Valley
23 Ethan Hume 10 Truro
Head Coach: Jay Foster
Asst. Coach: Hans Budgey