Four Cowichan Valley Soccer Association players helped propel the Vancouver Island-Central Coast team to the gold medal in girls soccer at last weekend’s BC Summer Games.
Duncan’s Aisha Werner and Jocelyn Lenarcic and Ladysmith’s Julia Noon and Anabella Charley joined the host Zone 6 team that went undefeated through the tournament, capping it off with a victory over Fraser River in the final.
“It was really exciting,” Werner said. “I’ve never won gold in anything, especially soccer. It was definitely my biggest moment in soccer.”
The Cowichan players were among 18 from across the Island on the Zone 6 team. Two months of training together prior to the Games helped the team develop winning chemistry.
“I think everyone just got along pretty well,” Werner said.
After playing to a 2-2 draw with Thompson-Okanagan in their tournament opener at the Sherman Road soccer complex on Friday, the Island team won 4-1 over Cariboo-North East at Rotary Park on Saturday, then shut out Fraser River 3-0 at McAdam Park in the final on Sunday.
Zone 6 opened the scoring about seven minutes into the gold-medal game, and rolled from there.
“I think we were pretty dominant, I would say,” suggested Werner, who assisted on two goals in the final.
The Cowichan players, who had played for their club team in the provincial U15 championships just two weeks earlier, appreciated the level of competition at the Summer Games.
“It was so fun,” Werner said. “I would say it was really fun to play with a team where everyone is really good. We haven’t really played with super good players like that before.”
It was beneficial to the local players to have the Games close to home.
“I think it was nice that we were a lot closer,” Werner said. “We didn’t have to be tired from the plane.”
Staying in schools near their homes and being unable to spend time with their families, even though they were so close, was unusual, she admitted
“It was a bit weird, but also fun as well,” Werner said. “It was a good experience.”