Sports

United claims the triple

Brad Peetam (red jersey) of the Surrey United Firefighters and Joti Thind of the Delta Hurricanes go up for a ball during the Provincial Cup final Saturday in Burnaby. - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
Brad Peetam (red jersey) of the Surrey United Firefighters and Joti Thind of the Delta Hurricanes go up for a ball during the Provincial Cup final Saturday in Burnaby.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

For the women’s team, another B.C. championship is nothing new.

For the men, it’s been nine years since their last one.

For the Surrey United Soccer Club, it’s an unprecedented sweep of B.C. Soccer’s two Provincial Cup titles in the A category.

The Surrey United Firefighters won the men’s A Provincial Cup Saturday evening in Burnaby, topping the Delta United Hurricanes 3-2 in the final of a 16-team tournament.

Coming off a fourth place finish in the Premier Division of the Vancouver Metro Soccer League, United was the lone team standing at the end of the four-week knockout competition, winning their first provincial banner since 2003.

The Surrey United women won their ninth consecutive B.C. championship, stopping Columbus FC 3-0 Saturday afternoon, also in Burnaby.

“It’s huge for the club,” said Martin Foden, executive director of Surrey United. “The men’s and women’s teams are the flagship teams in our club. It means so much for the rest of our club, particularly our younger players who look up to those teams.”

The club won three provincial championships on the day.

United also won the Women’s Classic Cup (35-and-over), blanking Gorge FC 6-0. Megan Blaker led the way with three goals. Renee Brown, Robin Scott and Sandi Sparkes also scored.

“Financially, it’s going to bankrupt us,” laughed Foden, noting all three teams will travel to regional or national tournaments next October. “We have to send three teams on the road, but it will be a proud moment for our club.”

The women’s team is the defending national champion, and had little trouble earning another trip to the nationals, which will be Oct. 10-15 in Winnipeg.

Ari Adams scored the only goal Surrey would need after 15 minutes of play. Katie Thorlakson added a pair of insurance goals before half time.

“We converted our chances in the first half,” said Foden, who also serves as an assistant coach with the women’s team.

“We didn’t in the second half, that was the only difference. Our defence was dominant in both halves, and  the midfield was winning the battles for the ball.”

The men were also dominant in their game, although the score isn’t reflective of the play.

Jeff Clarke opened the scoring for Surrey in the eighth minute, putting in a rebound off a shot from Ryan Reynolds. Steve McAuley added to the lead 15 minutes later, heading home a cross from Steve Kindel.

United was in control of the game, but couldn’t score over the next 50 minutes of play, until Angus Burke finished off a United counter-attack with less than 20 minutes to play to put Surrey in command at 3-0.

“We were handling things pretty well, and were in control,” said Foden. “But then they scored, and it gave them a lift.”

Playing coach Steve Millar got the first Delta goal on a header in the 75th minute. Than, after Clarke hit the crossbar from the penalty spot, Delta countered with a goal from Woody Bradford off a scramble in the Surrey penalty area.

“The score suggests it was a close game that could have gone either way,” said Foden. “But we fully deserved the win, we were the better team on the day.”

United Firefighters will also be in Winnipeg in October to play at the nationals for the first time in close to a decade.

“The men have had to watch the women’s team go to nationals along with a men’s team from another club for some time now,” said Foden. “Not, they’re going to.”

n The Surrey Coyotes of the Fraser Valley Soccer League reached the Men’s Provincial B Cup final, where they were blanked 2-0 by the North Vancouver Campobasso of the Vancouver Metro Soccer League.

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