Cowichan nails down first victory of Div. 1 soccer season

Stevan Zoric in Cowichan LMG's first winning game of the season last weekend. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Goalie Braeden Nash makes a save to earn his first Div. 1 victory and shutout. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Goalie Braeden Nash makes a save to earn his first Div. 1 victory and shutout. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Jordan Korven in Cowichan LMG's first winning game of the season last weekend. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Team Captain Jose Muro in Cowichan LMG's first winning game of the season last weekend. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Team Captain Jose Muro in Cowichan LMG's first winning game of the season last weekend. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan LMG finally constructed a first win that’s been in the planning stages through the previous three games of the Vancouver Island Soccer League Div. 1 season.

The foundation built during those outings – two losses to Nanaimo and one against Westcastle United – allowed LMG to nail down a 2-0 victory over Westcastle United Friday night on its Sherman Road home turf.

“Everyone played pretty well,” said coach Ryan Flynn. “It was a good team effort. It was nice to see and everyone was relieved to get a win finally.”

One of the keys, the coach added, was taking an aggressive approach to win the majority of the 50-50 balls.

“It was a spirited game. We came out with some intensity. We were banging the body a little bit.”

Cowichan got rewarded for playing a tougher, but fair game.

“It got them off their game, I believe,” noted Flynn.“We came out on top of it because we wanted it more. The boys wanted to win. You could tell that, for sure.”

With only one goal in the previous three games, Cowichan got an all-important marker in the last minute before halftime.

Travis Brown, who’s been battling a knee injury since the first game and actually sat out the next two, converted from a corner kick.

Valuable insurance came in the last 10 minutes when Thompson Nelson broke free from near the halfway mark of the field to score.

Both Brown and Nelson are newcomers to the team this season. Goalkeeper Braeden Nash wasn’t tested often, but made a couple of key saves for his first-ever Div. 1 victory and shutout.

“We just tightened up on the defensive end and didn’t give them much of an option,” observed Flynn.

Russell Lederer moved from his usual spot on the wing to play a stellar game at centre back, earning the man of the match honours.

Related: Every game better than the last for Cowichan LMG

Cowichan and Westcastle are both now sporting 1-3 records in a cohort with Nanaimo. That’s now done and Cowichan is moving to a new cohort with Powell River and Lakehill.

But the first game in Powell River Saturday is in jeopardy depending on how Powell River fits into some of the new regulations for COVID-19 unveiled by Dr. Bonnie Henry over the weekend. Flynn would rather not play for now than risk any exposures to the players.

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