Langley United Sparta earned a big measure of revenge.
The men’s Division 2 soccer team captured the President’s Cup on Saturday night with a decisive 5-1 victory over Westcoast FC United at Port Moody’s Town Centre.
“To win was pretty sweet, especially considering we lost to that team last year (in the Provincial Cup quarter-finals),” said Mark Peters, Sparta’s player/coach.
Westcoast FC United was a Division 3A team, but earned promotion to Division 2 for next season after a dominant season which saw them go 19-0-1, scoring 99 goals and conceding just 13.
“We managed to stifle their offence a bit and were able to counterattack,” Peters said.
“And our finishing was good.”
Three of Sparta’s goals came off either corner kicks or free kicks.
Langley led from start to finish in the game as they scored the only two goals of the opening half.
Sparta then scored twice more to open the second half before Westcoast finally got on the board with about 20 minutes to go.
And with their opponents a younger squad — they were playing at the U21 level just a few years ago — and Peters describing his team as “mature” — the coach said they knew Westcoast was capable of getting even closer.
But it would be Sparta getting the final goal for the 5-1 score.
Josh McCaig — who was named most valuable player — led the attack with two goals, while Todd Dutka, Paul Ballard and Adam Peters scoring one apiece.
The Sparta roster is largely made up of players in their late 20s, with a few in their early 20s and some in their 30s.
The core has been playing together for the past four years, beginning in Div. 4, then going to Div. 3 and the last two years at Div. 2.
“We definitely added some depth players so I knew we were going to be stronger overall,” Peters said. “But it is all about how the guys gel together.”
“I had high expectations, I considered us to be contenders but it is always who shows up on the day,” the coach added.
“I knew that if we got our true starting 11 out there, we could be very strong and I think that showed.”
The President’s Cup victory was one of two accomplishments by Sparta over the weekend as on Sunday, they captured the Fraser Valley Soccer League Div. 2 title with a 2-0 victory over the North Delta Titans.
The game was played at Willoughby Community Park.
Sparta finished the regular season with a record of 16-3-3, which actually tied them with another Langley United squad, Dynamo for top spot. But Sparta earned the title by virtue of having a greater goal differential at +45. Dynamo finished at +29.
Dynamo had advanced to the President’s Cup semifinal round before losing 2-0 to Westcoast FC United.
Sparta had defeated the Aldergrove United Red Devils 4-0 in their semifinal game.
Both Langley United squads have qualified for the BC Soccer adult Provincial Cup playoffs which run throughout the month of April. The teams are competing for the Keith Millar Cup.
Other locals teams competing in the various Cup championships are the Langley Hurricanes (men’s A Premier Cup) and Fraser Valley Action in the women’s A Premier Cup.
The Aldergrove United Red Devils are also in the draw with Sparta and Dynamo for the Keith Millar Cup.
Preliminary round play begins the weekend of April 10, 11 and 12, with the quarter-finals, semifinals and finals the following weekends.