Cloverdale's Surrey United Soccer Club is hoping the third time is a charm as the Provincial Cup finals loom.
For the third time in the last decade, Surrey United is in position to capture the two biggest prizes in British Columbia club soccer with both its men's and women's premier teams qualifying for the Provincial Cup finals. As an added bonus, Surrey's masters' women's team will also be vying for a B.C. title Saturday on the fields of Burnaby Lake.
"It's going to be a big day for our club and what it means depends on if you are looking at a half-full glass or a half-empty glass," said Surrey United executive director Martin Foden. "It's great to still have three teams playing at this time of the year but if you don't win the Provincial Cup, you may as well get knocked out in the first round. The further you progress, the bigger the disappointment if you don't win it all. If you get knocked out in the first round, you'll be choked and upset, but when you lose in the final, you're completely heartbroken."
On two previous occasions, Surrey had a chance to sweep the men's and women's Provincial Cup titles, but had to settle for just one of the coveted baubles.
In premier women's competition, Surrey United has established a soccer dynasty with eight consecutive Provincial Cup titles plus the 2011 national championship. As they close in on an unprecedented ninth straight B.C. title, United is riding a mindboggling 31-game winning streak in Provincial Cup competition.
Surrey hopes to extend those streaks Saturday against Columbus beginning at 1: 30 p.m. at Burnaby Lake.
"We know that at some point in the future we're going to lose a Provincial Cup game and that's all anybody will want to talk about," Foden said. "It will be almost like living your life - nobody says a lot of good words while you're still alive, but when you're dead, people will pay all sorts of tributes to your memory and accomplishments.
"We obviously don't know how long this will last, we just know that every year when we get down to the semifinals and the finals of the Provincial Cup there are going to be four strong teams and every game is going to be a battle."
The men's Provincial Cup final begins at 4 p.m. Saturday with a SurreyNorth Delta derby, as United takes on regional rival Delta Hurricanes in the penultimate game.
The Surrey United Firefighters knocked off PoCo FC 1-0 in the semifinal round while the Hurricanes dispatched Metro Ford by an identical score.
"What's interesting about this game is it's between the fourth and fifth place teams in the league," Foden said. "The Hurricanes are a good team with some good players and all I know for sure is it will be a close game."
Surrey United's master's women's side is also in the title hunt as they take on Prospect Lake from Vancouver Island.
Surrey advanced to the title game with a hard-fought 3-1 comeback win over Semiahmoo in the semifinals.