In 15 years coaching Div. 1 soccer, Glen Martin has sometimes thought he’s seen it all.
And then something new happens. Like last Friday night, when Cowichan LMG was up by a pair early on, despite a less-than-stellar start, only to lose.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen us blow a 2-0 lead and lose 3-2 at home,” he lamented of his team’s loss at the hands of Lakehill.
Cowichan struggled in the early going, Martin admitted, but managed to avoid giving up a goal.
“We didn’t start that good,” the coach said. “We weren’t playing well.”
Logan Kits gave Cowichan a lead late in the first half with what Martin called a “lucky goal,” chipping the ball over the Lakehill goalkeeper in the 44th minute. The team was fortunate to take a lead into the break, the coach said.
“They had better chances to score in the first half,” he acknowledged. “I think 1-0 or 2-0 for them would have been fair. We were very fortunate to be up 1-0.”
Martin was able to rouse his players during the break.
“I told them, ‘Let’s come out flying, win a corner kick and score a corner kick goal,’” he said.
That’s exactly what they did, successfully trying out a new corner kick formation that ended with a header goal by Adyn Lamont, his first Div. 1 goal, at 47 minutes.
“That really gave us a boost,” Martin said. “We started playing well. It was a great halftime adjustment.”
Cowichan had a brilliant chance to make it 3-0 when Craig Gorman sent Jordan Korven in on a breakaway, and that goal probably would have been the back-breaker.
“That would be fold-the-tent time for this team,” Martin said.
Instead, the Lakehill keeper made a great save, and as tends to happen after a big defensive play, the momentum changed and Lakehill turned around and scored a goal of their own soon after. They added another one on a free kick, when Cowichan goalie Darian Achurch made his one bobble of the season, and it was 2-2 after 66 minutes.
The game opened up after that and both teams had chances. Lakehill converted first, scoring on a throw-in in the Cowichan end in the 82nd minute.
“We tried to tie it up,” Martin said. “We pushed very hard, but we couldn’t tie it up.”
It’s not often that Cowichan coughs up a lead like that, and Martin acknowledged it was hard to take.
“It was very disappointing to lose that way,” he said. “It was a tough one to swallow, but we can’t dwell on it. We need to learn from our mistakes and move on.
“We’re a young team, and we showed a bit of inexperience. We have eight or nine new guys who look like they’re still trying to come together out there.”
The game was not without positives, however.
“I was really happy with how we adjusted at halftime,” Martin said. “We did turn it around nicely; we just didn’t manage the game out.”
Luca Klotz was “outstanding” at left back, the coach added, and Keevan Webb had a good game at centre back.
Cowichan will have to bounce back quickly as they travel south on Saturday to face a 2-0 Vic West team that hasn’t been scored on yet.
“It’s early in the season,” Martin said. “It’s no time to panic yet. We won’t dwell on what happened. We’ll take the positives and go from there.”