NIFA Pacific FC’s Lila Johnny defends the ball from a Gorge player during Sunday’s Div. 3 match at the Cowichan Sportsplex. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

NIFA Pacific FC’s Lila Johnny defends the ball from a Gorge player during Sunday’s Div. 3 match at the Cowichan Sportsplex. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan United opens the floodgates on Fernwood City

Rough outing at Cowichan Sportsplex for NIFA Pacific

Despite their coach’s efforts to slow the scoring, Cowichan United let loose against last-place Fernwood City as they extended their winning streak to five games with a 9-2 victory at the University of Victoria last Sunday.

It took less than a minute for Cowichan to get on the board as Sammy Maclean stripped a Fernwood defender of the ball and slotted it into the net. Maclean added her second of the game and fourth of the season just 10 minutes later when Mariah Thomas found her at the top of the box and her high shot eluded the Fernwood keeper.

Thomas set up Alyssa Klotz in the 15th minute, then Maclean fed Thomas at the top of the box for Cowichan’s fourth goal. Keisha Sampson scored her first of the year in the 25th minute after she intercepted a goal kick and fired it into the net from 35 yards out. Thomas rounded out the first-half scoring when she got her head on a corner kick from Jada Hill in the 41st minute.

With a comfortable lead at the break, coach Adam Paulson took the opportunity to sit both centre defenders and move the forwards to defence and midfield in an attempt to stem the tied. It didn’t matter much as Mariah Thomas scored her first of the year in the 50th minute after intercepting another Fernwood goal kick. Five minutes after that, Hill scored after stealing the ball and beating a defender. Madison Thomas scored Cowichan’s ninth of the day in the 85th minute before Fernwood managed a couple of late consolation goals.

While nice for the individual statistics, a blowout like that one isn’t necessarily beneficial at this point in the season.

“Our schedule gets a lot harder starting next week, and a game like this can sometimes be detrimental, as bad habits can form when the level of competition is quite a bit lower,” Paulson cautioned. “We will need to ramp up the intensity to ensure we don’t get complacent after a few weeks of lopsided games.”

NIFA Pacific United was on the other end of a blowout at the Cowichan Sportsplex on Sunday afternoon, an unfortunate setback after the Div. 3 team’s scores were getting closer over the previous three weeks.

“We struggled in this game as a team,” NIFA coach Dano Thorne said. “We were beaten by a good team. The team kept battling of course and tried to keep positive. They know the training needs to get better; they are all enjoying the chance to play after such a long wait. I’m positive and confident we can get stronger together as a team.”

Still looking for their first win, NIFA will visit JDF United this Friday.

The O30 Cowichan Cougars had last weekend off and will resume their season Friday night at Layritz against Prospect Lake’s A division team.