The second ever League1 Canada women’s Inter-Provincial championship is set to take place at Willoughby Community Park in Langley next month, with four teams battling for glory from League 1’s in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
The home of Canadian Premier League side Vancouver FC will host the 2023 Championship over the weekend of August 11 to 13, with the two semi-finals being played on August 11th and the final and third/fourth place matches played two days later.
The women’s Inter-Provincial Championship launched in 2022 and was an important step in League1 Canada’s mission to unify, elevate, and expand pro-am soccer and grow the women’s game in Canada. A successful inaugural tournament was hosted in Laval, Québec in August 2022, with the first title emphatically won by AS Blainville, who defeated the hosts 3-0 in the championship game.
The then monikered Varsity FC (now Nautsa’mawt) represented BC, going down 2-0 to the eventual winners in the semi-finals before losing on penalties to L1O representatives Alliance United and finishing the tournament in 4th place.
“The inaugural tournament in Laval was an essential step forward for League1 Canada,” Dino Rossi, President of League1 Canada, said in a press release. “It demonstrated the importance of establishing a platform for the best teams in our Division III Pro-Am leagues to compete against each other, offering our top players visibility and a level of competition that hasn’t been possible before.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to build on that this year, knowing this competition will only get bigger and better as the League1 Canada Alliance grows. None of this would be possible without the support of our partners, and I would like to thank BC Soccer and the League1 BC leadership team for their commitment to hosting the event in Langley.”
A sentiment echoed by BC Soccer Director of Soccer Operations Gabriel Assis.
“We are excited to bring the Women’s Inter-Provincial Championship to British Columbia,” Assis said in the same release. “This event provides the highest level of competition for women in our country and represents a landmark of the collaboration across League1 Canada. We are ready to build on the success from last year and showcase the great talent from League1 BC, League1 Ontario, and League1 Québec.
“We look forward to welcoming players, coaches, match officials and fans to the Township of Langley, on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish People, for days of intense competition.”
Two teams in the four-club tournament have already clinched their berths in next month’s championships.
Vancouver Whitecaps REX Girls Elite will represent BC as winners of the L1BC regular season. As hosts, BC will be afforded two spots in the tournament, with the second going to the L1BC champions at the end of the playoffs, or the runners-up if that also proves to be the Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps will face off with the L10 regular season winners in the second semi-final. That League is currently being led by another National Development side, NDC Ontario, with a couple of matches of the regular season remaining.
League1 Quebec don’t use a playoff system and their champions have already been crowned. PEF Quebec will take on the second BC representative in the first semi-final match-up.
This year’s championships will once again be broadcast by OneSoccer. Ticketing information will be confirmed later in July. Details of League1 Canada’s inaugural Men’s Inter-Provincial Championship, to be staged in 2024, will be announced later this year.
With the League1 set-up excitingly expanding across the country, this level of soccer is only set to go from strength to strength.
** Published in part with text from the official League1 Canada press release **