Cowichan United played so well in their 2-2 tie with Prospect Lake on Sunday afternoon, head coach Tyler Hughes felt that even the opposing team wouldn’t have had a problem if his team had won.
“If the game ended 2-0 for us, I don’t think the other team would have had any reason to complain,” Hughes said.
Cowichan put in an all-out effort from the beginning of the U21 men’s soccer match at the Sherman Road turf.
“It was our best performance of the season over a full 90 minutes,” Hughes said. “We’ve worked a lot on making sure we’re prepared right from when we get to the field and starting the game strong, not taking 15 or 20 minutes to get into it, and the boys responded brilliantly.”
Cowichan controlled possession and rarely let up on Prospect.
“We were by far the better team in terms of organization,” Hughes commented. “We caused them so many problems. They barely got out of their half in the first half.”
Prospect were efficient when they did get opportunities, and held a 2-0 lead at halftime.
“We missed a few chances,” Hughes said. “That was probably the one part of the game that let us down.”
The Cowichan players were eager to get back on the turf for the rest of the match.
“The boys were very positive about the first half,” Hughes said. “They played really well. They were full of confidence.”
Antony Van Cleave got Cowichan’s first goal, and Luke Armstrong, playing his first game of the season after sitting out with a concussion, scored the tying goal with about five minutes to go.
“I think he said it had been 250 days since he played an actual game,” Hughes said of Armstrong.
Prospect Lake is currently in second place in the U21 division, and has lost only once this season, so Cowichan’s comeback tie came against a competitive team.
“They’ll think they were lucky to get points out of that one,” Hughes said. “We’re on an up right now; we’re quite happy with where we are.”
Van Cleave was awarded the team hard hat, but he wasn’t the only player considered for the honour.
“It could have gone to anybody,” Hughes said. “It was tough to pick one standout.”
Cowichan will visit the Mid Isle Mariners in Ladysmith this Sunday at 6 p.m. The teams tied when they met in Ladysmith 2-2 on Oct. 7, and Mid Isle won 3-2 at Sherman Road turf on Oct. 28.
“I expect a tough game,” Hughes said. “We’re full of confidence right now.”