Cougars soccer teams off to regional finals

Matt Veno
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TRURO - It looks as if the Cobequid Cougars are rounding into form at just the right time.
The Cougars played some of their best soccer of the season Thursday to beat the Northumberland Nighthawks 3-1 at the Pictou County school and move on to the NSSAF Northumberland region final against the Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals.
The Cougars took the two-game set from Northumberland 7-2 on aggregate on the back of a 4-1 win at home Tuesday.
"It feels great," said Cougars coach Jay Foster. "They took us out last year and we played our best two games of the year in the playoffs to get a little redemption."
Rookie Conrad Yiridoe, of Valley, netted all three Cobequid markers. The first came on a penalty kick just 15 minutes into the contest, giving the Cougars a lead they wouldn't let go of.
Yiridoe struck for his second tally with 25 minutes remaining. Northumberland made it 2-1 five minutes later but Yiridoe iced it with 10 minutes to go.
The Cougars' lead forced the Nighthawks to press forward in the later stages of the game in search of goals, allowing Cobequid to exploit holes in the Northumberland back end.
"We knew they were going to come to play," Foster said. "But once they pushed forward we were able to open them up and buried a
couple."
Foster credited the victory to his team not letting off the gas in spite of its aggregate lead coming into the contest.
"We didn't want to sit back," he said. "We wanted to go out and try to win and get that road monkey off our back. Even near the end of the game we were still pushing to seal that road win and kept playing aggressive and attacking."
After a shaky first half in the opener, the Cougars took control with four goals in the second half. They never looked back and Foster called it the turning point in the series.
"I think it was," he said. "We got some momentum and started believing in
ourselves."
The Cougars host the Royals in the regional final Tuesday at 4 p.m. before travelling to meet the Antigonish school Wednesday at 4 p.m.
The winner moves on to provincials while the loser will go to a provincial qualifier.
The Cougars girls are also off to the regional final after defeating Northumberland 3-0 in a one-game playoff Thursday at CEC. Erin MacKenzie scored twice with Kallyn Morgan netting a single tally.
Cobequid now meets Dr. John Hugh Gillis in the regional final on Thursday.

sports@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Northumberland Nighthawks 3, Pictou County school, Antigonish school

Geographic location: Northumberland

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