Cowichan LMG moved closer to making their seventh Jackson Cup final in eight years with a quarter-final win over Prospect Lake’s Div. 2 team last Friday night.
Cowichan won the soccer game by a 6-0 margin, but all the goals came in the second half, and head coach Glen Martin thought the game seemed closer than the score would suggest.
“It was a tough game at the start,” Martin admitted. “Prospect Lake came well-prepared. They were at the field before we were. They’re a big strong team. They played really hard and defended well.”
Cowichan had couple of good scoring chances early, including a shot by Cooper Barry that caromed off the post, but the game was deadlocked 0-0 at halftime. Martin made one change at the break, taking off Govinda Innes and sending in Andres Algarin on the wing.
It took just two minutes of play in the second half for Cowichan to strike as Paddy Nelson broke the tie in the 47th minute.
“That was huge,” Martin said. “It took the wind out of their sails.”
Goals came steadily after that. Nelson scored his second of the night at 61 minutes. Barry beat the Prospect Lake goalkeeper at 67 minutes, Dan Cato struck at 74 minutes, and Nelson scored his third and fourth at 84 and 90 minutes.
“The floodgates opened at the end,” Martin said. “IT didn’t really feel like a 6-0 game, but it turned out that way.”
Prospect Lake sits sixth of nine teams in Div. 2, but Martin wasn’t going to take them lightly, and they lived up to his expectations.
“They were like I thought they’d be. They came in looking for an upset. I was expecting a hard game.”
The win over Prospect Lake puts Cowichan in the semifinal against Gorge at Hampton Park on March 17. The longtime rivals have met twice in league play this year. Cowichan lost 2-1 at home in the season opener on Sept. 16, then won 3-2 at Hampton Park on Nov. 18. LMG sits atop the Div. 1 standings, while Gorge is close behind, tied with Bays United for third.
“We’re playing a tough team in their own park,” Martin pointed out. “We’ll have to be ready.”
Cowichan has appeared in six of the last seven Jackson Cup finals, winning four times, including the last two.
LMG was supposed to play a league game at home against Comox last Sunday, but it was postponed due to an early-morning snowfall. The team still has four league games left, including one this Saturday on the road against Saanich Fusion at Tyndall Park.