Cowichan LMG may not have scored the first goal in their Vancouver Island Soccer League match against Westcastle last Friday, but they made sure to score all the rest of them as they rolled to an 8-1 victory.
Westcastle opened the scoring eight minutes in with a nice individual effort by Jon Shah on a counterattack while Cowichan was dominating play in the Westcastle end.
“That kind of woke us up,” Cowichan head coach Glen Martin said.
Paddy Nelson scored the next two goals for Cowichan, and Cooper Barry added another. Nelson had a chance to complete his hat trick in the first half, but missed a penalty shot in the 44th minute, his first miss since joining Cowichan in 2014.
Missed penalty shots aside, Cowichan was dominating play and took a 3-1 lead into halftime.
“I was feeling good about how we were playing overall,” Martin said.
The Cowichan barrage continued in the second half as Nelson scored twice and Josh Cuthbert, Mason Chang and Andres Algarin each had one goal.
With his four goals, Nelson now has 15 on the season, tying Ryan Andre’s team record from two years ago for the most in one season, with eight league games remaining.
“He’s on fire right now,” Martin said. “Hopefully he can carry that over to Comox this weekend.”
Barry sits second in Div. 1 scoring with 11 goals, while Cuthbert is in a three-way tie for third with six goals. The team has scored 42 goals in 10 games, while surrendering just five, both numbers by far the best in the division.
Cowichan remains in first place, with a six-point lead on second-place Comox and a seven-point lead on the three teams who are tied for third. Cowichan will travel to Comox this weekend for a huge match. Cowichan and Comox played to a scoreless draw when they met at Sherman Road earlier this season, and a 2-2 tie in Comox last year.
“It’s a big challenge for us,” Martin said. “That’s good, because we need one. We need to be prepared to play.”
With a win, Cowichan could increase their lead over the rest of the league to as much as nine points, while Comox could drop from second to fifth with a loss.
“It’s probably our most important game to date,” Martin said. “It’s a really big game for both teams.”