A win today propels the Cougar gals to soccer provincials for the first time since 1992
Looking to end the drought
TRURO - Ali Munroe is planning to keep on practicing next week.
Her Cobequid Cougars will have to win their provincial qualifier today against the Sir John A Macdonald Flames at noon at CEC, but the Cougars co-captain feels that's exactly what will happen.
"We have practice all next week," the fullback said. "That's what I'm planning on."
The Cougars find themselves here thanks to a thrilling 7-3 overtime win against the Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals in last week's Northumberland region final, which they trailed 2-0 with less than 10 minutes
The Flames defeated Memorial (Sydney Mines) 8-1 in a qualifier yesterday to advance to today's contest with the Cougars. The winner of today's tilt moves on to provincials next week in the Western region.
Getting there is what is motivating the Cougars, especially their three seniors Munroe, co-captain Carleigh Hiltz and Kirsten MacLellan.
"It's making us want to play hard," Hiltz said. "I want to know I did all I can to prolong our season."
The Cougars haven't made the provincial championship tournament since 1992. That's a streak the Cougars' seniors are looking to end today. Co-coach Kate Adams said she thinks they can.
"We're only young," she said. "But a lot of these girls have been playing together a long time and know each other well."
Munroe said it hasn't hit her that her high school soccer days are on the line.
"I haven't really thought about that," she said. "I've just been thinking we're going to win."
Hiltz said if the Cougars start thinking about their season ending, then that's exactly what will happen.
"Once you start thinking about getting defeated then you are defeated," she said.
The Cougars have not seen the Flames since they lost in penalty kicks in the provincial qualifier a year ago. CEC will be looking to avenge the lost today.
The Cougars are coming into the match still riding the high of their regional title win. That victory injected a larger amount of confidence in the Cougars than anything could, a huge advantage for the team because now the players know if they compete until the final whistle, anything can happen.
"It showed us if you don't give up you can still do it," Hiltz said.
The Cougars have generated oodles of scoring chances all season and Adams said as long as they keep doing that, accompanied by their typical solid play at the back, they have a chance to meet their goal.
"If we can keep creating those shots and finish them, I think we can win and I think the girls believe that."
The boys team saw their season come to an end yesterday, losing a hard-fought 2-0 decision to the two-time defending champs from Citadel.
"They had the best player in the province and he scored two goals," said Cougars coach Jay Foster.
The score was 2-0 at the half. The Cougars controlled the tempo in the second half but could not get one pass the Phoenix netminder.
"We gave them a real scare, we just couldn't convert on our chances," Foster added. "I was happy with the effort."
The Phoenix advance to play Parkview with the winner advancing to provincials in Cape Breton.