Cowichan LMG are still looking for their first win of the Vancouver Island Soccer League Div. 1 season, but every game gets them a little closer.
“We’re definitely going in the right direction,” head coach Ryan Flynn said after his team’s latest match, a 2-1 loss to Nanaimo United FC in Nanaimo on Friday night. “For every game, as individuals and as a group, we’ve noticed improvements of our play as a team. Some of these teams are at their peak. Nanaimo wasn’t any better than when we played them three weeks ago.”
Nanaimo opened the scoring in the 34th minute, after a penalty took the wind out of Cowichan’s sails, then added a second in the 81st minute. Blaze Roberts scored Cowichan’s first goal — of the game and of the season — in the 90th minute.
LMG weren’t without their share of opportunities; they just couldn’t put them away.
“We had two cleared off the line, hit a couple goalposts,” Flynn noted. “We couldn’t get it in.”
Nanaimo remains unbeaten through four games this season, with Roberts’s marker the lone blemish on their record thus far.
“They’re a good team, and their record shows it,” Flynn said. “They’ve only given up the one goal so far, and that was to us.”
Cowichan goalkeeper Taylor Joe played well in his first full Div. 1 game after years of dedicated backup duty, providing relief late in matches and helping out in training. The team had a couple of injuries to deal with, and just one sub, so several players were once again out of position, including captain Jose Muro, who played 90 minutes at centre defender for the first time in his career and held his own.
Ninth-place Cowichan will play at home against eighth-place Westcastle United this weekend, and Flynn has a good feeling about this one.
“If we play the way we did against Nanaimo, the results should show themselves,” he said.
Despite their struggles over the first three games, Cowichan is still just one win out of sixth place, the coach pointed out.
“In the games we’ve had, we’ve done everything but score,” he commented. “I’m pretty pleased with the effort so far; with the numbers of players we’ve had and limited time together, I think we’re playing well.”