The Hanover Sting stretched their Manitoba Major Soccer League unbeaten streak to an impressive eight games Monday in Steinbach with a 4-1 victory over Scorpions FC.
A model of consistency and steady progression over the past decade or so, the Sting are currently among the top teams in the MMSL Third Division and are in the fight to be one of two teams promoted to the Second Division next season.
Were that to happen, they could possibly be playing in the same division as the Hanover Kickers next season. The Kickers, who competed in the Premier League last year, were relegated to the First Division this season but have struggled for much of the season and are currently in last place in the division are fighting to stay in the First Division next year, as the bottom two teams will be relegated to the Second Division.
So, while the Kickers have had their struggles of late, it has been the opposite for the Hanover Sting who continued their relentless march up through the MMSL divisions.
Tim Thiessen, currently the head coach and also a player for the Sting, who has been with the club for the past decade or so, says the club first started to play in the bottom division several years ago, which would be the Eighth Division, and have continued to move up the ranks since then.
In fact they have taken a path that the Hanover Kickers have taken in the past, starting in the lower divisions and have twice advanced to play in the Premier League.
But Thiessen says the philosophy of the two clubs is different, while the Kickers continue to aspire to compete among the MMSL’s elite teams, Thiessen says "we have a different approach, perhaps more community based, a lot of these guys are friends and that has worked well for us."
"We rotate our players, we try and get everyone into the game," and he says that also seems to have been successful for the team.
Indeed the Sting have been on a quite a roll. Not since a 3-2 loss to IPAC Ukraine on May 30 have the Sting tasted defeat, in fact it is their only loss of the season as they have rolled to a 6-1-3 record, and now just two points back of second place Pescara, also with a game in hand. Three points are awarded for a victory.
The Sting have outscored their opponents 31-9 this season and have a division-best goals for and against differential of +22.
In Monday’s 4-1 victory, the Sting were led Marius Enns with three goals and another by Eric Fast, with his team-leading ninth of the season.
"We have a good team," said Thiessen, "we are developing, getting better every game, we’ll see how far we can go."
The Sting, who have eight games remaining this season, will again face Scorpions FC this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Buhler Recreation Park. Their next home game will be Thurs., Aug. 8 at 7:15 p.m. at the Steinbach Soccer Park vs. Kildonan Athletic Club.