An offensive outburst by the hosts about midway through the first half was enough to tell the story in a Vancouver Island Soccer League div-1 matchup in the Cowichan Valley last Friday night.
Sooke Celtic (25 pts on a record of 8-6-1) was visiting Cowichan FC (30 pts from a 10-4-0 record) in a showdown of fifth versus fourth place clubs.
Suddenly Cowichan struck hard and often and was working with a four-goal cushion on markers by Dan Citra and Ryan Andre with three.
“It was three goals in four minutes” exclaimed Cowichan coach Glen Martin the following morning. “They came out in the second half, played defensively, and it worked.” The lone Sooke goal was scored by striker Mike Moon who was available in the second half after arriving late for the contest.
“We were missing a bunch of players so we had four call-ups,” explained playing coach Steve Scott of the less-than-ideal circumstances of the game. “The call-ups played well for us.”
Justin Clark from the U21 Sooke Nation earned kudos from Scott for his efforts. Missing players included regulars Andy Dawson and Josh Jenkins.
“Home field advantage is big,” said the winning coach Glen Martin. “Over the last couple of years we’re really tough to beat at home. It’s a smaller grass field. Most teams play on turf.”
Local support, as Martin pointed out, is strong as well.
“I’d say for sure, Sooke and Cowichan have the biggest fan base. There’s no comparison with the rest of the league. You go to a Gordon Head game, or even the champs, Gorge, and they get half the fans Sooke and us get.”
Celtic is preparing for a Jackson Cup-related road game this Sunday in Powell River versus div-2 competition.The regular season schedule will conclude with a pair of games versus Gorge and a rematch with Cowichan.
Pumas shaded by Castaways
It was a mild night at The Log and the field was at the saturation point last Saturday as the Sooke Pumas hosted their Castaways rivals. The result? A 2-1 decision in favour of the visitors.
Puma’s playing coach Tracy Forsberg was the goal scorer on the evening and had little to report other than the fact that the game was very close.
She was correct. Both squads played well and, for Sooke, a particularly stellar effort was turned in by keeper Cass Graber. On one labelled Castaway shot she demonstrated sharp reflexes, extending to punch the ball just clear of the bar.
Castaways coach Stu Forsyth:
“We won last night 2-1 with Sooke scoring a penalty shot in the last second of the game. On our first goal Sara Ferrario hammered a shot that bounced off a defender and in the net from a corner kick. Then Fiona Jamin squeaked through the defenders and beat Cass Grabber on the lower left while she was on a breakaway.
“Our tactic was to use the wings and let the ball do the work as we had only one substitute. We played a 4-4-2 formation and used the support of our defenders to play the ball up the wing.”
Castaways are currently holding down second spot in the Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association’ ten-team first division. Sooke is tied with Juan de Fuca for sixth place.
The Pumas are getting set for another home game this Friday night at 6 – this one against Vic West.