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Richmond FC march on to cup semis

Women's soccer team hosts Coquitlam Saturday at Minoru looking to secure spot in provincial final

Richmond F.C. is 90 minutes away from the Provincial “A” Cup women’s soccer final and this time there is no perennial juggernaut standing in its way.

Richmond continued its outstanding season with a dominating 5-0 quarter-final victory over Abbotsford United last weekend.

The result sets up a semi-final date with Metro Women’s Soccer League (MWSL) rival Coquitlam Metro Ford Extreme on Saturday (2 p.m.) at the Minoru Oval. A win would send the locals to the championship game next weekend in Victoria to take on the North Shore Renegades or Island champion Castaways Highlanders.

Richmond rolled to a league best 13-1-1 regular season record and also captured the MSWL League Cup final with a win last month over the Renegades. Now, the prestigious “triple” is well-within its grasp.

The team made an instant splash back in 2009 when, then known as Richmond Club Ireland, reached the provincial final in its inaugural season before falling 2-1 to 10-time defending champion Surrey United. That Richmond team featured plenty of young talent, including national team member Jodi Ann Robinson.

Since then, Richmond has continued to attract excellent players, from the university and collegiate levels, but hasn’t fulfilled its potential until now.

“In the last three of four years we always seemed to have fallen off over the second half of the season,” said Richmond FC coach Jim Caldwell. “Even last year, we went into the Christmas break with a five point lead at the top of the standings but really struggled after that.

“I think the big difference this season is the girls are much more committed to training and we are seeing that with the results on the field.”

The team is led up front by former UBC standout Caitlin Davie who scored twice in the win over Abbotsford and led the MWSL Premier Division in scoring with 18 goals.
Richmond defeated Metro Ford in a pair of regular season meetings — both by 2-1 scores.

“Abbotsford came here with only one sub and that certainly didn’t help them. We have had some good games with Metro Ford but it would be disappointing if we didn’t get the result on Saturday with the season we have had,” added Caldwell.

Richmond FC will be missing two starters due to work commitments, however, that’s where the team’s depth of talent comes through — another big factor in the overall success.

Corner kicks…

AC Richmond saw its memorable season end with a 4-1 loss to VMSL’s Campo Atletico in Keith Millar Provincial “B” Cup men’s quarter-final action. AC Richmond had earlier captured its first ever Richmond Adult Soccer Association Premier Division title.

Richmond-based Total Soccer Systems Reds remain in the women’s Provincial “B” Cup hunt after a 1-0 win over Vic West last weekend. TSS will take on MWSL rival Dashmesh United on Saturday 6:30 p.m. at King George Park.