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Pride, bragging rights on the line in big soccer clash

"It's very important, it's basically winner wins the league."

CANMORE – The two powerhouses of Bow Valley Soccer League are headed into an inevitable showdown this week with more than just a win in the balance.

With the league title up for grabs and two games left, the gravity of the situation isn't lost on the last two champions, Canmore United and Banff Springs, who face off Thursday (Aug. 12) in a crucial standings game at 7:30 p.m. at Millennium Field in Canmore.

"It's very important – it's basically winner wins the league," said Robert Weir, player/coach of Banff Springs. "Obviously, there is another game we need to win after that [to be the top team], but that one's a big one. That's a big game."

Both teams' undefeated streaks (10 points, 3-0-1) continued Sunday (Aug. 8) following Banff Springs 3-1 victory over Pump and Tap and Canmore United's 4-1 triumph over Rundle FC.

Banff Springs goal scorers were Brennan Cowley Adam with a pair and Harry Goodship. Jack East bagged one for Pump in the losing effort.

Goal scorers for Canmore United were Brett Appleton, Jiri Paulik, Gjoa Carr and Patricio Gutierrez and Matias Gamboa scored for Rundle FC.

In the shortened six-game season, with only two games before the Aug. 29 year-end tournament, every match up matters.

Earlier this season, the undefeated heavy hitters played to a draw in their only meeting, but each squad has the almighty W in mind come Thursday.

"All the wins are important right now – we just need to win," said Neil Orchard, assistant coach of Canmore United.

"We're a club that's pretty organized and we've been around for a long time, so even though it's just in Canmore, we still want to win, it's still there. For some of us who are older, the desire is still there to always win."

And for Canmore United, the club doesn't lose many games – and it's been a while since they tasted defeat.

Before 2020's cancelled season, the Canmore team went undefeated in 2019 during its championship run and are pushing for another year of unblemished dominance.

But with that crown, comes a big target on their back and the 2018 champion Banff Springs squad wants to be the one to ruin the party.

"They're still undefeated, so two years now you're talking undefeated," said Weir.

"We're not overly nervous [for Thursday]. If we get a fast start, I'm confident we can get the win."

After Sunday's action, Canmore United and Banff Springs distanced themselves from the league with 10 points each.

Pump and Tap has three points and Rundle FC is still looking for its first points of the season.

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

Jordan Small joined the Outlook in 2014 and covers the vast world of sports in the Bow Valley. A Barrie, Ont. native, he also wrote for RMO's Mountain Guide section and the MD of Bighorn beat.
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