Cowichan LMG handed first loss of VISL season

Cowichan LMG came within one day of going a year without a loss in the Vancouver Island Soccer League.

Cowichan lost 2-0 to Saanich Fusion at Tyndall Park last Friday, 364 days after their last defeat in league play – against the same team on the same field.

“The team that’s got our number right now is Saanich Fusion,” Cowichan head coach Glen Martin admitted.

For the third time in the last four games, Cowichan allowed the opening goal of the game. The previous two times, Cowichan managed to escape with ties. They weren’t so lucky this time.

“We used to be so hard to score on,” Martin said. “We’ve got to make sure we don’t get scored on first.”

Saanich scored in the ninth minute and the 90th minute, with both teams playing some excellent soccer in between.

“Saanich Fusion defended well the whole game,” Martin said. “They’re the strongest team we’ve played this year by a lot. We didn’t play poorly; we played well. We were just chasing them the whole game.”

The match marked the Cowichan debut of the recently signed Keevan Webb, a Victoria native who played this fall for the Peninsula College Pirates in Port Angeles, Washington.

The loss dropped Cowichan’s record to 11-1-2 on the season, but the team remains well in front of the rest of Div. 1. Saanich is second, eight points back of Cowichan, while Vic West and Nanaimo, who played to a 2-2 draw last weekend, sit nine and 11 points behind Cowichan, respectively. Cowichan also has a game in hand on both Saanich and Nanaimo.

With the exception of a 7-0 win over lastplace Castaways on Dec. 6, Cowichan hasn’t been at its best in recent weeks, Martin acknowledged.

“We’re limping across the finish line,” he said. “We need to get back together here and get this thing finished off. We’re still in good shape to try to stop the little slump we’re in.”

Following the winter break, Cowichan’s next league game will take place in Nanaimo on Jan. 17.