'Drive for five' complete for CBU men's soccer dynasty

The drive for five is complete at Cape Breton University.

The Capers men's soccer team beat Saint Mary's 4-0 Sunday on home turf to cap their fifth consecutive AUS championship.

They're now a university sporting dynasty. With the five straight titles separated by a COVID-19 lockdown year when all university sports were cancelled, players and coaches agree this one was even sweeter.

"I think the gap in the pandemic adds to it," said men's soccer coach Deano Morley. "So many of these players never got to play for 18 months. For me, 700 people coming out to the game last night, it shows what sport does, it brings people together."

AUS most valuable player Charlie Waters has been around for four of the team's five championships, but agrees this one might mean a little more.

"It was tough," Waters said. "You know, the Zoom calls. Everything being online. And everyone's had a tough couple of years. So it's good to just be back and (have) some sort of normal."

That feeling of normal was in the air at packed sporting events across the Maritimes this past weekend.

The Halifax Wanderers played their final regular season game before another capacity crowd. Then, there was the Blue Nose Marathon. Back in-person for the first time in nearly two and a half years, the streets of Halifax were electric.

"People were excited to be back in person and to have the Blue Nose marathon come back," said Blue Nose executive director Sherri Robbins. "So we saw that through kit pickup, and that carried right through race weekend."

As soon as next week, the soccer field in Cape Breton – and the campus – will be buzzing once again. The CBU women's soccer team hosts the U Sport national championships Nov. 18-21.

As for the men, their focus is now on a national tournament of their own in Ottawa.

"Obviously when we go on that plane, it's back to business. And back to normal, hopefully," said Capers player Ewan Bauld.

Of course, these days what's normal for the Capers soccer team is winning championships.