The "Saltspring Sensation" and a shuffled lineup sparked undefeated Cowichan LMG to a 5-0 win over Castaways FC in Div. 1 of the Vancouver Island Soccer League last Friday.
Head coach Glen Martin switched things around after the previous week’s 4-0 win over Vic West, giving some different players a chance to start, specifically Brad Thorne, Connor Crichton, Colin Knight and Brad Archibald. Those moves allowed Martin to bump Kevan Brown – the aforementioned Saltspring Sensation – from the back line to the front, a move that resulted in two of the team’s five goals.
After relatively slow starts in their previous games, Cowichan had put last Friday’s game away by the 32-minute mark.
"We scored four goals by the time we had scored in on our other games," Martin observed.
Paddy Nelson needed just two minutes to score his league-leading eighth goal. Captain Jesse Winter added his first of the season six minutes later on a shot from five yards out.
"That’s a long-range shot for Jesse Winter," Martin laughed.
Crichton scored at 25 minutes, finishing off a hard-working play by Knight, and Brown made it 4-0 seven minutes later.
Martin brought in some fresh legs at halftime, subbing in Dan Cato for Crichton and A.J. Kambere for Dan Citra, and while the offensive barrage was quieter in the second half, Cowichan’s dominance was the same.
After missing one wide-open opportunity, Brown made it 5-0 at 79 minutes before he was swapped out for Justin Parish, who made his Cowichan debut after joining the team in the off-season, while Robbie Heggelund came in for Thorne. Goalkeeper Joel Wilson recorded his third clean sheet.
Cowichan’s next game will be against second-place Saanich Fusion, and while Cowichan is far enough ahead that first place isn’t on the line, a win would help widen the gap.
"We’ve got a real chance to get a grip on the league," Martin said. "It should be really exciting."
The game will also mark the first time that top-scorer Nelson and Cooper Barry – who is tied for second in the league with four goals – will face their former team. Both players signed on with Cowichan this past summer after many years with the Saanich organization.