Five Things to Know Before the League1 BC Post-Season Begins
It’s been a busy time in League1 BC over the past week as the provincial pro-am soccer league concludes its final weekend of match ups of the 2023 regular season.
Going into just the second-ever L1BC post-season, here are five things you should know before the semi-finals kick off on July 28th!
1) Whitecaps Top The Women’s Table
Having gone on a six-game undefeated streak going into Week 14, it should come as no surprise that the Whitecaps Girls Elite Academy have now ended the season with a safe five-point lead over Nautsa’mawt FC to top the women’s table. Having accrued an additional three points in Week 14 after having handily beat Rivers FC 6-0, the Academy have now made the most of both this and last year’s L1BC season, having won the league playoffs last year in stunning fashion with a 2-1 victory over Varsity FC.
The Whitecaps girls have also won a berth in the second iteration of the L1Canada Inter-Provincial Championship, going up against the best from L1Ontario and L1Québec later this year.
2) League1 Canada in Langley
Speaking of the Inter-Provincial Championship, BC has been granted the hosting rights to the 2023 iteration of the tournament with it being hosted at Vancouver FC’s Willoughby Community Park in Langley. As mentioned above, the Whitecaps Girls Academy have already guaranteed their spot while the PEF Quebec won their place in the tournament with a 8W-1L-2D record through the 2023 Ligue1 Quebec season. Alongside these two clubs will be the winners of the L1Ontario regular season and a wildcard team as determined by the L1BC women’s playoffs.
The Whitecaps are slated to take on the challengers from League1 Ontario while PEF Quebec will be facing off against the BC-based wildcard. Details for tickets are to be revealed later this month for those wishing to watch the best women’s soccer this country has to offer.
3) Winner Takes All
The Men’s division of League1 BC built itself up to quite the finale this past weekend. A tense season left the Victoria Highlanders and Burnaby’s TSS Rovers FC neck and neck on points with a shared 9W-2L-2D record. Even better than this, the pair’s last match of this regular season saw them take on each other in a battle for the top seed, bragging rights, and a place in the 2024 Canadian Championship. The TSS Rovers have continuously brought strong showings to the pitch this season while their Victoria-based counterparts truly reversed fortunes from last season in a worst-to-first campaign.
Unfortunately for Darren Russcher’s Rovers, back-to-back appearances in the Voyageurs Cup was not in store for them as a last-minute push by the Highlanders going into stoppage time sent them over the top. A free kick into the top right left corner plus a penalty shot in the 93′ gave the Highlanders their ticket to next year’s National tournament and the title of 2023 L1BC Regular Season Champions.
4) So You Say There’s A Chance (For 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Place)
Luckily for the Rovers Men’s side, not all hope is lost for glory this season as this year L1BC has introduced a new playoff format to keep more teams vying for victory even after the regular season. Announced prior to the season’s kick off, the 2023 Playoffs will include the top-four teams in each division facing off with first hosting fourth and second hosting third in a single-game series to see who will move on to the finals.
With this new format, July 28th and 29th will see the following match-ups:
Victoria Highlanders FC (1) vs Unity FC (4)
TSS Rovers FC (2) vs Whitecaps MLS Academy (3)
Whitecaps Girls Elite (1) vs TSS Rovers FC (4)
Nautsa’mawt FC (2) vs Unity FC (3)
5) Bringing it Home to BC (Place)
To top it all off, there is nowhere better to celebrate the best BC Soccer has to offer than at the shrine of BC footy, BC Place. Revealed on July 19th, League1 BC has partnered with the Whitecaps and the provincial government to see the best two men’s and women’s teams duke it out on the same pitch that so many greats have walked on previously.
Taking place on August 5th during the BC Day long weekend, the winners of each of the four semi-final matches will converge on Pacific Boulevard with the women kicking off at 1pm PDT and the men at 4pm PDT. Considering the sheer amount of talent taking part in this years L1BC playoffs, no matter who moves on to play under the lights at BC Place, it will be an exhilarating finale to a great second season.
2023 marked the sophomore season of British Colombia’s pro-am league, League1 BC. With eight teams competing over 14 match weeks, the Victoria Highlanders men’s side and the Vancouver Whitecaps Girls Academy won their respective division while three other clubs will join them in the L1BC playoffs starting on July 28th and running until August 5th. Select games, including both finals match-ups, will be streamed live on the L1BC Youtube channel.