After scoring four times in their first three games of the Vancouver Island Soccer League Masters A season, the Cowichan 49ers showed off their scoring touch in a 6-0 win over Nanaimo United at the Sherman Road turf on Saturday afternoon.
“It was nice to find the back of the net more than twice,” Cowichan head coach Kevin James said. “We played a pretty solid game from back to front. It was nice to get a clean sheet and to get a lot of goals.”
Todd Vass scored three times, and Darren Meiner, Stu Barker and Ryan Fusick each had singles. Preston Johnny and Rob McIntyre shared the shutout.
The surface itself made it easier for Cowichan to execute the game plan.
“Playing on turf was better,” James said. “It was a faster game as opposed to the long grass we played them on last time. We kept to the game plan and kept moving the ball quickly. It was nice to score all those goals.”
The Niners had lost to Vic West in a McGavin Cup match last Tuesday, a defeat that came with a silver lining.
“Being in the McGavin Cup, a lot of our games were played on our training nights,” James noted. “Being out of the McGavin Cup allows us to work on a few more things in practice.”
The team continues to deal with a shortage of manpower, for several reasons that the coach acknowledged come with the territory of masters soccer.
“In Over 35, family and work come first,” he said. “And injuries are a little more obvious and take longer to resolve. The guys that we have, have the ability to win games. It’s been good to have depth.”
The 49ers are scheduled to play Gorge at Hampton Park Saturday. Gorge is the only team to have beaten Cowichan this season, winning 2-0 on Sept. 16.
That match is one of only two more games Cowichan has left against Masters A teams, before beginning a schedule against Masters B clubs. It is vital for the team to win as many Masters A showdowns as possible, James emphasized.
“They will be a good indicator of where the standings will be at the end of the season,” he explained.
In the Masters B division, the Cowichan Steelheads earned their first point in the standings with a 1-1 tie with Peninsula at the Sherman Road turf on Saturday. Goran Jandric had the Steelheads’ lone goal and Ryan Connelly was named game MVP. The Steelheads will visit Prospect Lake on Friday.