The starters did the scoring, but the subs all played huge roles as Cowichan LMG improved to 3-0 in Div. 1 of the Vancouver Island Soccer League with a 3-1 win over Lakehill at Sherman Road last Friday.
"We had four subs, and we used them all," head coach Glen Martin said. "It really showed the depth of our lineup."
The first sub in was Robbie Hegglund, who came in at halftime for defender Brad Archibald and went on to set up Dan Cato’s eventual game-winner, 15 minutes into the second half.
Next up were Colin Knight, in for Stu Barker at left back, and Connor Crichton at centre mid for Brad Thorne. Finally, A.J. Kambere went in for Dan Citra and ended up setting up Cooper Barry’s goal in the 81st minute.
"He brought a lot of spark, and the other team was getting tired," Martin said of Kambere. "We had fresh legs, and you could see the difference."
Paddy Nelson – now the leading scorer in Div. 1 with five goals in three games – opened the scoring on a penalty shot 25 minutes into the game, making the Lakehill keeper pay for tripping him up. Lakehill managed to even the score with an own goal that went through the defence and bounced into the net off Archibald.
Cowichan bounced back from that setback as Cato and Barry scored their third goals
of the season in the second half.
Sitting first in the league after goal differential is factored in, with one more than Saanich Fusion, Cowichan will head to Westhills this Saturday to take on Vic West, who have been a league contender the last few years.
"That will let us know where we stand compared to last year," Martin said.
In Div. 2, Jose Muro and Mike Minckler
scored as Cowichan United edged Vantreights 2-1 at Rotary Park, with Minckler edging Muro for Player of the Game
honours. "I was pleased with the outcome on how it finished," head coach Ryan Flynn said. "It was a very tough match to play with strong physical play the whole game."
After a sluggish start for Cowichan, Vantreights opened the scoring 20 minutes in, but the team woke up and tied things up on Muro’s strong individual effort.
Flynn made some changes at halftime, including moving Minckler from midfield to forward.
"Going into half tied was alright but I knew a change had to be made or two," Flynn said.
The changes paid off immediately as Minckler scored 35 seconds into the second half, and the teams traded chances for the rest of the game, with neither one able to capitalize.
"I was more than pleased with the effort that everyone put in in the second half," Flynn said. "Our subs coming off the bench did a fantastic job putting pressure on them with their speed."
Cowichan United, who are still looking for a major sponsor or two, will travel to Sooke this Friday.