Six games into the Vancouver Island Soccer League Masters season, things weren’t going smoothly for the Cowichan Steelheads, who were looking not only for their first win, but their first goal of 2020-21.
That changed in a big way with a 5-0 victory over the Prospect Lake Lakers at the Sherman Road turf on Saturday night.
Kevin Smith scored that long-sought-after first goal of the year just six minutes into the match, and then the dam broke.
“The team was motivated to score,” said injured Steelheads player Curtis Flynn, who watched from the sidelines. “Right from kickoff we started pressing the opposition hard. The front three of Kevin Smith, Dennis Atkins and Alan Kane were dominating the Prospect Lake Defence.”
Kane had the second goal of the match four minutes after Smith scored, and Atkins had two goals disallowed, one in each half of the game.
Prospect was charged with an own-goal just before halftime. The second half saw Travis Brown score on a penalty kick and Cheko Soto add one more. Chris Muller earned the clean sheet.
“I can’t say enough how well our keeper, Chris Mueller, played, as usual,” Flynn said. “When we were up 1-0 he made a few remarkable saves to keep us up in the game and he deserved the shutout.”
Nick Zuback had a strong outing on the wing, and Brown made a significant difference as he returned to the Cowichan midfield. Flynn made sure to credit manager Steve Richards and assistant George White for their parts in the big win.
“They did an excellent job throughout the game adjusting personnel and rotating all the players,” he said. “Every single player battled and played with a ton of heart and determination. You could tell we wanted the win badly.”
The Steelheads have an excellent chance to add another victory this weekend when they play host to winless Juan de Fuca Blue on Saturday.
The Cowichan 49ers didn’t have to work hard at all to earn their fifth win of the season as they were awarded a 3-0 win due to a forfeit by JDF on Sunday. The 49ers are scheduled to visit Prospect Lake this Friday.