George Thomas of the Kingcome Wolves (front) battles Edson Castro of Cosmos FC for possession during the men's final of the 43rd Golden Wings Soccer Tournament Sunday

Cosmos FC, Do it for Dana snare Golden Wings titles

Cosmos tops Kingcome Wolves 2-1 to rule 16-team men's bracket in 43rd annual tourney

Edson Castro scored one goal and set up a key second score Sunday as Cosmos FC topped the Kingcome Wolves 2-1 to claim the men’s championship in the 43rd annual Golden Wings soccer tournament at the Spit Field.

The women’s title went to Do it for Dana, which rolled unbeaten through the tourney and blanked the Alert Bay 96ers 2-0 in Sunday’s final.

Castro staked Cosmos FC to the early lead in the men’s final, heading in the ball from seven yards out on a set play off a free kick.

In the 65th minute, Castro nearly got a second goal but his 15-yard offering banged off the crossbar and out. However, with just six minutes to go in the 80-minute final, Castro started a bizarre series with another header. His redirect went to a teammate for another header, with the ball slicing across the goal mouth from right to left. As Wolves goalie Wylie Roberts lunged for the save, the ball hit the goalpost and bounced back toward the right side.

A Cosmos attacker and a Kingcome defender both missed on kicks as they tried to change direction with the ball. Finally it settled on the foot of Taylor Arbour, who calmly tapped it into the open side of the net for the 2-0 lead.

The Wolves weren’t finished. Pushing hard in the final minute, they earned a penalty kick with a hold inside the 18-yard box, and Mateo Kostering converted to make it 2-1. But the whistle blew just moments after the following kickoff, allowing Cosmos to claim the champion’s trophy and ball.

Quwutzun took third in the 16-team men’s division after falling to Cosmos FC in the first round and running the table in the consolation bracket.

Cosmos FC also cleaned up in the individual awards, with Justin Gusola earning the MVP, Matt Likness getting Most Valuable Goalie and Joel Harry claiming the Bill Dyck Memorial Most Valuable Defender Award. The Most Inspirational Player was given to Johnny Rice of the Songhees Falcons.

Do it for Dana is named for its coach, Dana Henderson, a cancer survivor who has marked five years cancer-free.

“I can’t play any more, but I can coach,” an emotional Henderson said as she accepted the women’s trophy surrounded by her players. “I’d just like to thank all these girls for coming out and playing for me.”

Do it for Dana opened the tourney Saturday with a win over Alert Bay, and capped it with another after the 96ers rallied their way through the consolation bracket to earn the rematch.

Maralyn Lloyd scored the lone first-half goal in the game, and Sarah Bartlett made it 2-0 in the 55th minute when she collected a long through pass just before onrushing Alert Bay goalkeeper Sandra Seaweed arrived. After tapping the ball past Seaweed, Bartlett sent it into the wide-open net from 20 yards for the insurance score. Melinda Martin got the shutout in goal.

The Vancouver Island Suns claimed third place in the women’s division.

Bartlett was named MVP and Seaweed earned Most Valuable Goalie honours. Morgan McDonald of Do it for Dana was tabbed Most Valuable Defender.

The U-16 title went to the Cowichan Eagles in a finals win over We Wai Kai FC of Campbell River. The Nanaimo Predators placed third.

 

Tianna Walkus of the Alert Bay 96ers, left, and Krista Drake of Do it for Dana duel for a high-bouncing ball during the women’s final. — J.R. Rardon/Campbell River Mirror