BOW VALLEY – Canmore United is back-to-back champion of the Bow Valley Soccer League after delivering the goods when the club absolutely needed to.
"We finally played to our potential," said Libor Kreml, a coach/player with Canmore United. "And we kind of dominated from start to finish."
With the league’s 2021 title teetering in the balance last Thursday (Aug. 19) in Canmore, the undefeated United had a mission to score a lot of goals and save a lot of shots in order to have a chance at winning the league during its final game of the season.
Banff Springs, the league’s other undefeated titan, held a plus-two advantage in goals for/goals against all week, which shot up to plus-five after the team took out Rundle FC, 4-1.
Things weren’t exactly looking great for United, but if there’s one anecdote that comes from sports, it's you can never count a team out.
With the heat on, United did one better and played a near flawless game against Pump and Tap, winning 6-0 to barely edge out Banff Springs on goals for/goals against by plus-one and ripping away the crown in the process.
"More pressure was on the other team because they were not supposed to make any mistakes," said Kreml. "We kind of focused on the first minutes and we know what we're capable of. We're a pretty experienced team ... We kept to our strategy and didn't get frustrated because it's a 90-minute game and we can score goals at any minute."
Facing off against the league’s other two teams – Rundle FC and Pump and Tap – Thursday’s high-stake games for United and Springs was a second straight week of winner-takes-all mentality between the two undefeated clubs.
Banff Springs held a plus-two in goals for/goals against over Canmore United following the two titans 1-1 draw on Aug. 12 in the second last game of the season for the teams.
It was the second time this season the clubs drew 1-1.
Robert Weir, Springs’ manager/centre back, said that despite narrowly missing out on the crown the season was a success for the Banff team.
“We definitely don't feel like we are second best or losers,” said Weir. “Unfortunately with this league it comes down to fine margins and as disappointing as it is to go a full season undefeated and not win the league I am very proud of all our boys. We had a hell of a season and you can be sure we will be going again next year.”
This Sunday (Aug. 29), the league hosts a season-ending tournament at the Our Lady of the Snows field in Canmore starting at 10 a.m.
The finals are scheduled for 12:45 p.m. and league award presentations will follow.