Cowichan United continued a trend of strong defensive play in the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s U21 division with a 5-1 win over Vic West on the road on Nov. 5.
United had the game well in hand with five or six minutes left to play when Vic West finally scored. It marked the third consecutive game that Cowichan has allowed a single goal, barely missing a blank slate for goalkeeper Braeden Nash.
“We’ve had three good performances in a row,” United head coach Tyler Hughes noted. “We’ve been close to getting a shutout the last three games.”
All season long, Cowichan has been creating chances and scoring goals, but the improvement on defence has definitely pleased Hughes. Against Vic West, Cowichan dominated in every aspect of the game.
“I think we felt in full control of the game,” the coach said. “Our defensive shape, the guys are buying into it. We’re really limiting other teams’ chances.”
Logan Kits led Cowichan with two goals, while Kaine Dreaver, Addison Kits and Liam Thibodeau had one each. Jeremy Stacey was named game MVP.
“We have some very dangerous attacking players,” Hughes remarked. “They’re causing a lot of problems for the other teams.”
With two wins and a tie since the defensive breakthrough, United’s record has improved to 3-2-2, putting them fourth in the U21 division.
Cowichan’s game against Mid Isle originally set for this past weekend was bumped to January, making it two weekends without a game before the team plays again on Nov. 26. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for the players, many of whom have also been playing high school soccer lately.
“We might use it as a bit of a rest period,” Hughes suggested. “They’ve been playing a lot of soccer, so there’s some of those little injuries they pick up.”
United will be home to last-place Juan de Fuca on Nov. 26.
“I’m not really concerned with who we’re playing,” Hughes said. “Our main focus is what we’re doing as a team.”