The Cermaq Outlaws women’s soccer team traveled to Burnaby May 13 to play Westside FC in the Provincial B Cup Championship.
After defeating Lakehill’s Division 1 side 2-0 and Damesh United from the Vancouver Select Division in a thrilling 2-0 overtime victory, the Outlaws came up against a strong Westside Select Division club in the final.
Westside won the Vancouver Select Division title while scoring 25 goals and only surrendering seven in 14 games.
The Vancouver club dominated the opposite side of the Provincial Cup draw scoring 11 goals and surrendering only two in their four qualifying matches.
After an early morning trip to Burnaby, the Outlaws, and the handful of fans and relatives that also made the trip, were set to try and cap off their season with a victory that they have spent years chasing, a provincial title.
Westside, however, had other plans and right from the opening kickoff, applied quick, suffocating pressure which caused problems for the Outlaws.
However, when the Outlaws did manage to switch the field of play it opened both room and time for them to operate.
At only the seven-minute mark of the first half, one such switch and a good ball forward to the Outlaws diminutive center forward, Crystal Swift, proved to be a deciding moment in the Outlaws season.
Swift controlled the ball played to her feet and skillfully turned around her defender about 40 meters from the Westside net.
She then beat the defender in a foot race into the box before dribbling around a charging Westside keeper and sliding the ball into the Westside net for an early 1-0 lead for the Outlaws.
The Westside team continued with their pressure defending for the remainder of the first half and caused turn over after turn over but for the most part couldn’t mount much of an attack due to some excellent work by the Outlaws back four and some solid goalkeeping by Haylie Craddock.
The second half mostly mirrored the first half with Westside pressuring the ball all over the park while the Cermaq team skillfully defended.
Several times in the second half the Cermaq team managed to break the Westside pressure and create several quality scoring chances but they couldn’t find a way to create a second goal that would have sealed the victory.
As the game entered the final 15 minutes, nervous play by the Outlaws combined with Westside’s desperation lead to numerous Westside corner kicks and free kicks just outside the Outlaws penalty area.
As the Outlaws continued to hold on to the 1-0 lead two minutes of injury time turned into four minutes before the referee finally blew the final whistle letting the Cermaq Outlaws claim their Provincial B Cup Championship.