Playing shorthanded for most of the game, the Cowichan Outlaws weathered the storm against Gorge last Sunday until the final minutes, ultimately settling for a 1-1 tie against their rivals in Div. 2 of the Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association.
After taking the lead within the first four minutes when Natasha Tymo finished off a cross from Amber Cook, the Outlaws went down to 10 players when Jade Soluk was handed a red card in the 10th minute. They lost another player at halftime when Cook had to leave for a memorial service.
The skeleton crew nearly held on until the end, but a late push by Gorge eventually paid off and the teams each collected a point.
“It was an extremely challenging game,” Cowichan captain Hilary Fisher said. “We had just nine girls for the last 45 minutes. We played amazing. It was a very good game at both ends.”
The Outlaws played aggressive soccer for the first 35 or 40 minutes of the match before settling back for the balance.
“Neall [head coach Neall Rowlings] called us over and told us to pull back on defence,” Fisher explained. “I think we executed pretty well.”
Kerynne Bain had a strong outing as she filled in at goalkeeper. Call-up Samantha McLean was also effective.
“The girls played a perfect defensive game, down a girl with zero subs,” Rowlings said. “That is a huge ask playing down a player with subs, but without, wow. Absolutely beaming with their work ethic. After a game like that, I remember why I love to coach.”
After a difficult few weeks, the Outlaws now have points in three of their last four games, and are hoping to make some noise as the season progresses into January and February.
“I have high hopes for this team,” Fisher said. “We’ve got a strong core of girls that all want the same thing. We just need to put that together in practice. Practices are crucial to executing the rest of the season.”
A four-year veteran of Cowichan’s senior women’s team, Fisher admires the character of the current squad.
“This team has more heart than they’ve had in the last four years,” she said.
The Outlaws are now seventh out of 10 teams, just two points back of Fernwood City. The team will be in action again this coming Sunday when they visit the Saanich Cascades, who are tied for first place.