Cobequid confident after semifinal win, but knows final will be much tougher
TRURO - Winning, especially the way the Cobequid Cougars did, can work wonders for a team's psyche.
The Cougars boys soccer team will have it tested today as they meet the No. 1 ranked Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals in the NSSAF Northumberland region final today at CEC. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. The winner of the two-game, total-goal series moves on to provincials, while the loser will be forced into a provincial qualifier.
Coach Jay Foster said his players have plenty of confidence coming into the final after hammering the Northumberland Nighthawks 7-2 on aggregate in the semifinal.
"Especially the second game winning on the road knowing we didn't play well on the road all season," Foster said. "Northumberland was capable of coming back but we played well and we want to keep that momentum up."
The Cougars battled to 2-2, 1-1, and 2-2 draws in their three meetings this season with Northumberland, but hit their stride once playoffs began, rolling to 4-1 and 3-1 wins over the Nighthawks. However, they know the Royals will be a tougher test.
"They're a little more experienced and they've proven they're the best in the region this year," Foster said.
But the coach added his team is much different than the one that lost 5-2 and 3-1 to the Antigonish school earlier this season.
"I like to think we're a lot better and we're going to give them all they can handle," he said.
The Cougars played their best soccer of the season against Northumberland, finding a system of play that allowed them to blossom.
"There aren't as many question marks with us," Foster said. "I think we're prepared."
Foster said the Cougars will have to play much like they did against Northumberland and attack the opposition net often.
"We have to come out and be aggressive from the start," he said. "We can't sit back because that's a recipe for disaster for us and I know that's easier said than done because they'll be attacking us.
"But we want to be aggressive."
Foster borrowed from the old adage the best defence is a good offence.
"When we have the ball, they don't," he said. "So we want to keep possession and keep them from dominating the game."