Both Cowichan FC, the Cowichan Cougars women’s soccer teams, were involved in Cup play on their home field over the weekend.
Cowichan FC, the region’s Div. 1 women’s team played host to Nanaimo United FC at noon on Sunday and the 30+ division Cougars welcomed Gorge FC to the Sherman Road turf at 2 p.m.
Cowichan FC, presented by The Society Barbershop and Cafe, stood up to the challenge of a bigger, aggressive team, as they beat Nanaimo United 3-1 in Doug Day Cup Play.
“Nanaimo set up in a stubborn defensive formation and used their superior size to attempt to push the Cowichan players around. Cowichan was unable to get into their usual quick passing game, and Nanaimo generated the first chance, as a free kick was tipped on to the crossbar by keeper Kate Collins and bounced down off the line and into Collins arms,” said head coach Adam Paulson.
After adjusting to the Nanaimo style, Cowichan grew into the game and started making progress into the Nanaimo half. In the 40th minute, Cowichan broke through, as a cross from Tianna Chau created confusion between the Nanaimo backline, and the keeper pushed the ball on to the back of her own defender. Cowichan forward Jada Hill was on hand to sweep the free ball into the Nanaimo net.
Cowichan doubled their lead in the 50th minute as Kat Cook was brought down by a Nanaimo defender outside the 18-yard box. Cook took charge of the free kick, sending it around the wall into the base of the post. The rebound was put in by Chau, for her first goal with the senior team.
“Having Kat Cook back in the line-up was a great help, as she manages the game so well when she is on the pitch, helping transition the play from defence to attack,” Paulson said. “It was gratifying to see Tianna Chau get her first for the club, as she does the dirty defensive work well for us, and has definitely earned her moment.”
Nanaimo pushed back, scoring in the 60th minute to halve Cowichan’s lead.
In the 80th minute, Cade Smith played a cross in that was cleared out by a Nanaimo defender but knocked down by Cook who fired the ball into the Nanaimo net.
Doug Day Cup round robin play ends next week, as Cowichan visits Castaways D1 on Saturday evening.
“We now need to push on and get a win next week, to give ourselves the chance to continue on to the knock out rounds,” said the coach.
The Cowichan Cougars faced a stronger, larger team in Gorge FC in Shergold Cup play following the division 1 win, but the result was not as positive.
Playing down a player, the Cougars battled hard early on to keep Gorge off the score sheet but eventually succumbed to the pressure. Cowichan ended up losing the game 4-0 but not through the lack of effort of the players who showed up to play.