Despite some phenomenal goalkeeping and a late goal from Conor Williams, a shorthanded Cowichan Oak FC squad couldn’t hold on when the game went to penalties, and lost their opening match in the McGavin Cup soccer tournament against Vic West Casuals at the Sherman Road turf.
Vic West opened the scoring with a converted penalty kick in the first two minutes. Alex Smith earned a penalty for Cowichan at the other end after some good work down the left side, but the shot hit the post.
With his team down 1-0 in the early going, Braeden Nash made an incredible save in the first half to keep his team in the match, but injured himself in the process. Jordan Hensel stepped in, making his Cowichan debut, and made a couple of massive saves of his own.
With the team still finalizing its roster, coach Jonas Golf-Myers brought only 12 outfield players to the match, and as the match progressed, many of them developed cramps or played through injuries.
“We hung on for dear life until Conor Williams scored from a free kick in the 87th minute to send the game to penalties,” Golf-Myers reported. “Sadly, after Luca Klotz emphatically scored our first penalty the following three went off the crossbar, off the post and wide. Vic West scored all three of their penalties.”
With the loss, Cowichan Oak FC is now out of the McGavin Cup tournament. The team’s next match will be its Vancouver Island Soccer League Div. 3B season opener at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Sherman Road turf against Prospect Lake.