In what some jokingly called his “last game of freedom” for Cowichan LMG, striker Steve Scott scored twice to spur his team to a 3-1 comeback win over Vic West last Saturday.
Scott, who is getting married this week, scored Cowichan’s first goal to tie the score at 1-1, then added the eventual game-winner later on as the team took sole possession of first place in Div. 1 of the Vancouver Island Soccer League.
“You don’t do that very often in our league,” head coach Glen Martin said of the come-from-behind win. “Especially against some of the top teams in our division.”
Cowichan trailed Vic West 1-0 at halftime, putting themselves in a tough spot.
“In our league, of course, scoring first is everything,” Martin noted.
Ten minutes into the second half, however, Scott took a long cross from Paddy Nelson and beat the Vic West goalie with a header for his first goal of the year.
“That was a huge goal,” Martin said. “You can tell they dropped off a little bit.”
Goalie Sam Hutchison made a couple of key saves to keep it at 1-1, and Scott scored again at the 64-minute mark, slamming home a free kick.
“That kind of goal will break your spirits,” Martin said. “They didn’t have much of a push after that.”
With about 20 minutes left, Josh Cuthbert took a laser pass from Tyler Hughes and scored a beauty to make it 3-1. Cowichan held on to that lead until time expired.
The first-half deficit was surprising for Martin, whose team outplayed Vic West in the early going.
“We had a lot of possession,” he said. “We were all over them.”
Vic West, however, absorbed the pressure well and didn’t give up a lot of quality scoring chances. Around the 30-minute mark, they took the ball against the flow of play and floated a cross into the Cowichan box to beat Hutchison.
Although he allowed his first goal in four games with Cowichan, Hutchison had a strong outing, making a few big saves in his first real test.
Martin had warned him before the season that there would be a lot of games where he didn’t face any shots at all, and that was the case in the first three matches of the season. Despite being untested thus far, Hutchison was ready when it happened.
Elsewhere on the pitch, Kevan Brown was named game MVP after an outstanding outing at centre midfield.
“He was in on the action, controlling the game,” Martin said.
Cowichan sits alone in first place in Div. 1 with three wins and a tie, but the injury bug has struck a few players in the last week.
“With a small roster, that’s not a good thing,” Martin pointed out. “[Carrying a small roster] is okay if nothing happens to you.”
Cowichan will be back in action this Friday, hosting Gorge at the Ladysmith turf at 7:30 p.m. This year’s Gorge squad is much improved over last season, sitting fifth in the division.
“It will be a good challenge for us,” Martin said.