Peace Arch defends cup

Adam Staschuk (left) of North Delta SC and Jamie Williams of Peace Arch United battle for the ball during the Pakenham Cup final on Saturday. Peace Arch won 4-1. - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
Adam Staschuk (left) of North Delta SC and Jamie Williams of Peace Arch United battle for the ball during the Pakenham Cup final on Saturday. Peace Arch won 4-1.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

Peace Arch United are champs again.

The venerable men’s premier soccer side won its second consecutive Pakenham Cup with a 4-1 win over North Delta SC Saturday at South Surrey Athletic Park. The team now has five Pakenham titles since 2005, and has also won the “double” – a Fraser Valley Soccer League premier title and the Pakenham Cup in the same season – in three of the past five years. And according to PAU captain John Collins, it’s a championship run that’s unprecedented in the FVSL.

“As far as I know, it’s something that’s never been done, so to have done it now three times, that’s pretty special for this team,” said Collins, who has been on the squad since 2002.

On Saturday, Peace Arch jumped on the underdogs from North Delta early, when Ryan Horvath opened the scoring in the game’s first minute.

“It was a counter-attack goal. One of their defenders made a blunder with the ball, and we jumped on it and made a through-ball to Ryan,” explained Collins. 

“It was a really good start.”

Steve Otten of North Delta tied the game 20 minutes later. But Peace Arch restored its one-goal lead before halftime when Taki Vohalis made it 2-1.

In the second half, Peace Arch “really started to light it up,” Collins said. 

Cory Gibson made it 3-1 early in the second frame, and Steve Dormer tacked on PAU’s fourth goal late in the game to really put it out of reach.

Despite winning by three goals, Collins gave credit to the young North Delta side, but suggested his squad’s experience served them well in such a big game. 

“It was a close game, and North Delta is a real scrappy group – they never gave up, never gave us much,” he said.

“But it’s one of those kind of games – it’s a one-game (winner takes all) cup final, so sometimes people get nervous out there.”

Peace Arch’s ball control advantage, especially in North Delta SC’s end of the field, also helped the home team wear down its younger foes, who finished eighth in the premier league regular season, 21 points back of Peace Arch.

“We had the ball a lot more in the right areas – and a lot in their half,” Collins said. 

“That created a lot of scoring chances for us – they’re goalie had to made three or four big saves for them, or we could’ve had a few more.”


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