The Nanaimo United U21 team wasn’t able to bring home its first cup, but the season isn’t over yet.
The Vancouver Island Soccer League side lost 4-1 to the Bays United Gunners on Saturday in the George Smith Cup final at Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park.
Coach Allan Jorgensen said there were a number of contributing factors in the loss. Nanaimo had trouble adjusting to playing on grass, and it also had to play catch-up all game long as Bays made it 1-0, then 2-0 by halftime.
Morgan Johnston scored on a header to draw United to 3-1, but the team couldn’t come any closer.
“They were very, very disappointed,” Jorgensen said. “Sometimes you can try so hard and things just don’t go right.”
Nanaimo’s U21 men get a consolation prize – simply qualifying for the cup final earned them a berth in provincials. The draw took place Monday after press time, and action starts April 14 or 15. Jorgensen expects his team to be ready for the next stage of the season.
“[The cup final] was kind of an under par game for the guys and they’ve had one of these before and come right back,” he said.