Oceanside United claims title
Oceanside’s ladies of soccer put the finishing strokes to their masterpiece of a season recently, going 3-0 on the pitches of Comox to claim the Mid Island Women’s Soccer League’s playoff title for the fourth straight year.
In action March 3-4 under less than ideal conditions with targets on their backs, the locals dug deep and found a way to win.
The conditions on Saturday said Oceanside United coach Dan Mahony “were monsoon-like. Very windy, and rain pelting down sideways.”
Oceanside opened the playdown with a 5-3 win over Port Alberni. Then, against the Outlaws from Campbell River, Sue Maltby buried a hard shot low far corner at the 31 minute mark of the first half and OU hung on for a 1-0 win.
Their final match was another nail-biter. Natasha Collins scored the winner in a 1-0 final off a penalty shot.
The tournament final against the MVPs — the only team to beat Oceanside this year — said Mahony “was a barnburner — hard fought by both teams.”
In that game, Oceanside won the shootout with goals from Claire O’Conner and one each from the twins, Natasha and Rebecca Collins, and a clutch save by veteran keeper Pam Richer.
Including the three playoff games, this year’s ‘Ocean side’ was an offensive juggernaut, outscoring the opposition by an overall tally of 49-6.
The three wins puts Oceanside at 15-1-1 overall in Island action this year — they finished the regular season 12-1-1 for top spot in the 10-team league’s 2011/2012 season (their lone loss in week one and the tie a result of an own-goal late in the game) and are now unbeaten at 10-0 since December.
Richer finished the regular season riding a streak of eight straight shutouts and now has 11 to her credit. She has only been scored on in four games this year.
“A phenomenal record demonstrating excellent attacking and defending as a team. I have really enjoyed the group this year as they are truly a team in every sense of the word. I am proud of each and every one of them for contributing to a great season,” said Mahony.
OU captain Christina Ciolfi confirmed the weather in Comox threatened to sink their season — but not quite.
“We had a great season this year for sure I don’t think the team has ever gelled so well.”
As for their fourth straight trip to provincial playdowns, Christina made no bones the team is intent on making some noise at the BC Cup.
This will be the team’s fourth straight trip to the B.C.s under Mahony’s watch, and the second year of the new, unforgiving, single-elimination format played out over five weekends.
Oceanside United finds out April 3 where their first BC Cup game will be played.
It was a short-benched OU team that got knocked out in the first round of the provincials last year in a 2-1 loss.
The News will keep tabs.