Cowichan FC, sponsored by The Society Barbershop, played to a 0-0 draw with Nanaimo United Sunday afternoon but the score didn’t indicate how hard the players worked on the soccer pitch.
Head coach Adam Paulson said Nanaimo showed up ready to defend, and packed their end with players, taking away a lot of room for Cowichan’s offensive players.
“Chances were in short supply and when they did come, the ball would somehow stay out of the Nanaimo net,” he said.
In the second half, Cowichan pressed forward and had two golden opportunities to grab the win. In the 85th minute, Cade Smith found some space and burst into the Nanaimo box, unleashing a powerful shot that was well saved by the Nanaimo keeper, as she just managed to push the ball past the post.
Then in the 88th minute, Katerina Cook beat her defender down the wing and whipped a great cross into the box, where Jada Hill was able flick the ball on to Keisha Sampson. Sampson received the ball with her back to goal and flicked it over her head, but the ball spun past the far post, as the Nanaimo keeper watched helplessly, leaving Cowichan to rue their missed chances.
“I thought it was telling that Nanaimo, a team who played in Premier last year cheered when they were able to hold out for a tie against us,” Paulson said. “It shows our progress as we continue to push higher in the leagues. It was a new experience for the ladies to play against a team that had no desire to push for the win, and were just defending all game.”
Cowichan returns to action this Sunday at 2 p.m. against Gorge United at Hampton Park Turf.