Takeaways and power rankings at the League 1 BC halfway mark

VANCOUVER, BC – The 2026 World Cup is coming to Vancouver, and soccer development has taken a massive step n the last year, as League 1 BC and other developmental pathways have launched, while Canada’s men and women excelled on the international stage. 

In League 1 BC, the season may be brief and not long enough to send a men’s team to the 2023 Canadian Championship, but it is proving to be valuable as th season reaches its halfway point for most clubs. 

WOMEN: Whitecaps, Rovers and Varsity are contenders

While the Vancouver Whitecaps are a younger group than their counterparts, their technical abilities and fitness levels stand above the rest. They’ve won all but one through six matches, with their only dropped points coming against a tough TSS Rovers side in a 1-1 draw. 

Meanwhile, the Rovers and Varsity FC have seldom dropped points. Varsity has yet to do so, while Rovers have a draw and a loss to their three wins. Still, the three clubs have established themselves as the premier sides in League 1 BC. 

Six points split third place TSS Rovers and fourth place Altitude FC at the time of writing. 

Emma Regan of Varsity FC (Ben Steiner)

Looking ahead, however, the future becomes brighter for Varsity FC, with TSS losing high-quality players, including stalwart midfielder Aislin Streicik to NCAA pre-season training camps. The Whitecaps will also lose several starters, including Bella Lister, Megin Turi, Andrea Kraetzer, Olivia Ahern, Shae Taylor, Ava Wright and Izzy Monck.

Based on the UBC Thunderbirds, Varsity won’t have similar struggles. Although they will lose Texas Longhorns midfielders Holly Ward and Emma Regan, it has far less impact than the other clubs.

While the departures may make games more competitive with lower-ranked sides, the Whitecaps, Rovers and Varsity are the contenders in the women’s division. 

Men: Everything still up for grabs

While the women’s standings feature an “Elite Three,” the men see their campaign a lot more wide open. Outside of Unity FC and Altitude FC, which have just one point each, every club has a shot at qualifying for the final. 

However, the TSS Rovers and Varsity FC have been the cream of the crop so far. TSS has looked confident in every aspect of their play and took down a powerful Whitecaps U19 side on the weekend. Meanwhile, Varsity FC came back from 1-0 to beat Rivers FC 2-1 on the weekend, improving to 4-0-0, albeit against some of the league’s weaker sides. 

June 12, 2022 – Ken Wood Field, Vancouver, British Columbia – League1 BC action between Vancouver Whitecaps FC Men and the TSS Rovers Men. The Rovers won the match 0-2. (AFTN)

Varsity’s Caleb Clarke scored twice against Rivers and is up to four goals on the season; meanwhile, Erik Edwardson has scored at a similar pace and has played an equally important role for TSS. 

There is still just over half the season to go, and although there are league leaders, the standings are as hard to predict as ever. 

Most important players: Holly Ward and Kensho Ando

Holly Ward, left, challenges for a header with an Altitude FC defender (Ben Steiner)

From the University of Texas, Holly Ward wants to get back in the Canadian national team picture, and she has done a lot to help her case in League 1 with Varsity FC. Thriving in a wide role with head coach Jesse Symons’side, Ward’s electrifying speed on the ball, and awareness off of it has been critical to Varsity’s success. 

She has not only put in good individual performances but has fit in well with the Varsity system, something not to take lightly, as she walked into a pretty well-established team as the UBC Thunderbirds. 

Ward scored the first goal in club history and has been stellar so far this season for the Point Grey club.

(UNBC Athletics)

Kensho Ando might not be the flashiest player on the men’s side, but the Victoria Highlanders defensive midfielder has kept his side in games and ensured his backline is seldom tested. 

Although the Highlanders sit in fourth place on seven points, they have the final within their sights, and Ando will be there for the whole season before returning to the UNBC Timberwolves alongside many of his teammates. 

Holly Ward and Kensho Ando are far off the leading goalscorers in League 1 BC, but they may just be two of the most important contributors to their team’s success. 

Women’s power rankings: Morning of June 16

  1. Varsity FC 
  2. Whitecaps FC U19
  3. TSS Rovers
  4. Altitude FC
  5. Unity FC
  6. Rivers FC
  7. Victoria Highlanders

Men’s power rankings: Morning of June 16

  1. TSS Rovers
  2. Varsity FC
  3. Whitecaps FC U19s
  4. Victoria Highlanders
  5. Rivers FC
  6. Altitude FC
  7. Unity FC

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