Oceanside’s dedicated ladies of soccer open their regular season in Campbell River on Sunday against the Outlaws, and the road to a fifth straight appearance in the provincials could be a long one.
Longtime local volunteer coach Dan Mahony is back for his fifth campaign helping guide the local side, which competes at a Div. 1 level in the Mid Island Women’s Soccer League.
Oceanside United opens the 16-game regular season on Sunday in Campbell River against the Outlaws. The Outlaws opened last weekend with a 3-2 road win over perennial powerhouse Nanaimo United. OU’s home opener at QB Rec Fields goes Sept. 23 against the Nanaimo Wheaties (noon start).
“It’s a good group,” Mahony said of his team, adding “this is the first year we haven’t had an influx of six or seven new players with others leaving, we really only have one new player, so in that regard it’s a stable team with real good team chemistry.”
Oceanside United has won the MIWSL title and represented the league at the provincials the past four years.
“But there’s always been a couple teams who are extremely strong that were right behind us, so we had to work hard (to win).”
And things aren’t going to get any easier this year he points out, as some of the league’s top teams have joined forces.
“There’s two teams in Campbell River that have amalgamated into one, and in Courtenay they’re down to three teams instead of five,” said Mahony, pointing this season will also mark the MIWSL debut of a strong crop of graduated high school players from the Comox Valley.
“And they’re all going to be gunning for us,” Mahony chuckled. “So it’s going to be a very difficult year.”
Oceanside United has a current roster of 20, but those close to the team are extending an open invitation for new recruits. Anyone interested in joining the side can call Barb at 250.954.3391.
The MIWSL also has a new website this year — www.miwsl.com.