Halifax soccer teams take gold at CAF Regional Championship
By Ryan Melanson,
The CFB Halifax Men’s Soccer Team are once again headed to the CAF National Championship, and team captain Lt(N) John Couch said the squad is in a great position to be gold-medal winners in 2018, after close second-place finishes in recent years.
“This is one of the strongest groups we’ve ever had coming out of regionals, I don’t know if we’ve ever had a stronger team,” Lt(N) Couch said.
“Atlantic Region placed second at nationals two years in a row, and I think we can crack that barrier this time around.”
The team earned their trip to nationals with a gold-medal win at the CAF Atlantic Regional Soccer Championship, held in Dartmouth from July 31 – August 2, going up against teams from Gagetown and 14 Wing Greenwood. They shut out both teams through the tournament, with lots of credit going to goaltender Pte Mike Rowsell, defeating Greenwood by a score of 4-0 and winning 1-0 over Gagetown in the round-robin play. They defeated Gagetown again in the finals, by a score of 2-0, to take the Regional gold medal.
“We had a calm intensity out there, everyone focused and did their jobs, and we got it done. We were in control of every game and we outscored both other teams combined,” Lt(N) Couch added. He said the majority of the team played strongly and contributed in their roles, with a special shout out going to SLt Jaidon Freeland of HMCS Charlottetown, who won the tournament MVP award for the Mariners.
On the women’s side, the Halifax Mariners also took the gold medal against Gagetown, and will represent the region at Nationals. Only two women’s teams competed in the tournament, and through three matches, the teams finished at a 1-1 tie each time, with victories only coming through shootouts. The gold-medal game was another back and forth battle with Gagetown scoring in the first half, Halifax tying it in the second, and the game remaining tied after 20 minutes of extra time before being settled in the shootout. The MVP for the Mariners women’s team was LS Caroline Larocque, who works with BIS Client Services.
The CAF National Soccer Championship for both men and women will be held from September 8-13 at CFB Borden.