More than three weeks after their last match, Cowichan LMG picked up a 1-1 draw against Westcastle, the team they’re currently fending off for first place in the top division of the Vancouver Island Soccer League.
“It was a good road tie,” Cowichan head coach Glen Martin said. “Considering we’d done nothing for three weeks, and they’re an academy team that trains twice every day.”
A home game for Westcastle at Westhills Stadium, the match had been postponed more than once before the teams were finally able to meet on Sunday. Westcastle opened the scoring at 33 minutes, but Cowichan responded just three minutes later on a penalty kick by Craig Gorman.
“We recovered quick, which was good,” Martin commented.
Cowichan had some good chances to take the lead early in the second half, with Gorman and Jordan Korven getting solid scoring opportunities, but the ball wasn’t going in. When the tide turned down the stretch, it fell on goalkeeper Darian Achurch to preserve the tie.
“We started the second half really good,” Martin said. “It was some of our best soccer for about 20 minutes. We ran out of steam, and they took it to us pretty good.”
Martin was pleased with his team’s performance and the way they stuck to the game plan against a team with lots of youth and speed.
“Our tactics were good,” Martin said. “We stayed really compact and played very patient. We didn’t give them a lot of room.”
Cowichan and Westcastle will meet again this Wednesday in Sooke. The game will count as a home match for Cowichan, so it’s appropriately being played on a surface similar to LMG’s alternate pitch.
“It’s a small grass field, like Keserich Field,” Martin said. “So it will feel like a bit of a home game, just in Sooke.”
Through Sunday’s game, Cowichan has 10 wins, one loss and four draws for 34 points, two more than second-place Westcastle. In addition to Wednesday’s match, Cowichan also has league games against Gorge and Nanaimo to make up. The Gorge game will take place in late March, and the Nanaimo game will be scheduled once Cowichan’s fields thaw out and reopen.
In the meantime, Cowichan will open the Jackson Cup tournament this coming Saturday against Vic West at Finlayson Park, starting at 6 p.m.