Cowichan’s very own Mr. Zero

Someone must have called housekeeping, because Darian Achurch has two clean sheets.

The veteran soccer goalie turned in two shutout performances last weekend, first backstopping Cowichan LMG to a 1-0 win over Nanaimo in Div. 1 action last Friday, then repeating the feat for Cowichan United the next day in a 4-0 Div. 2 win over Saanich Fusion.

Achurch’s services were required by LMG on Friday because their regular keeper, Joel Wilson, was serving a one-game suspension due to a red card. LMG coach Glen Martin was relieved to be able to call on him.

"Every time we’ve called him up, he’s done well for us," Martin said. "We’re lucky to have him."

LMG’s win over Nanaimo on Friday followed a familiar pattern.

"It went how the last three have gone," Martin said. "That’s four in a row, 1-0. It goes to show, they can’t score on us."

That didn’t mean it was an easy outing for Martin’s team.

"It was a tough game," Martin admitted. "We expected a hard game; we knew they’d be ready to battle."

Nanaimo’s keeper matched Achurch’s performance in the first half, making big saves on Cowichan’s Brad Thorne and Paddy Nelson, and the game was scoreless at halftime.

LMG was picking up some momentum, however, down the stretch.

"We started playing better in the last 10 or 15 minutes," Martin said.

Steve Scott broke the scoreless draw in the 53rd minute with his second goal of the year on a left-foot shot from about 15 yards out. Tyler Hughes nearly added a second goal on a free kick, but hit the post.

As the Vancouver Island Soccer League season approaches the halfway mark, Cowichan LMG remains undefeated. Martin doesn’t think it’s likely his team will hold on to that claim for the rest of the season, and isn’t even considering the possibility.

"We just want to win the league," he said.

"If you win the league, it means you’re prepared every game, and the guys are doing a good job of that."

Next up, Cowichan will visit Gorge FC at Hampton Park this Friday.

"It’s always a battle down there," Martin said. "We don’t score a lot of goals down there for some reason."

Achurch continued his perfect play the following day and Jordan Korven scored a hat trick as United shut down Saanich.

"In the first half we came out and put the pressure on them right from the beginning," coach Ryan Flynn said.

Korven scored his first of the game, and of the season, 15 minutes in when he converted a cross from Jose Muro. Jacob Ready added to the tally at 30 minutes when he played a ball into the box and it found its way into the net.

"At the half we felt good, but we knew the next goal was big," Flynn said.

After weathering the storm, Korven scored his second at 25 minutes. Strong play on the back line helped Cowichan continue to fend off the attack, and with an assist from Kodi Archbold, Korven completed the hat trick with 15 minutes left.

United also got a strong performance out of Tyler Coles, who stepped in to replace Conor Williams, who was injured early in the game.

United, sitting second in Div. 2, just three points back of Lakehill, will be back at Rotary Park again this Saturday, facing Prospect Lake Black at 6 p.m. "I would like to thank all the fans who are coming out to watch," Flynn said. "It is a great venue to watch the game and the support of everyone is much appreciated by the team. We hope to see the hill full of fans next week."

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