By Randy Wachtin
(ISN) – Like the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, there was a bevy of women’s provincial cup playoff soccer action throughout southern Greater Victoria last Sunday. Preliminary round action kicked off in this single-loss elimination tournament with winners advancing a bracket step into this weekends quarter finals.
Four games were hosted, two each in Provincial Women’s A Cup and B Cup competitions.
B-Cup | Vic West vs. Prospect Lake
The opening game of the day kicked off at 11am at the Finlayson turf field. Prospect Lakes’ Shannon Thomas sent a right footed short looping volley from 15 yards out mid way through the opening half against a 10 man Vic West side and held off the ensuing pressure for the remainder of the match to win 1:0. Keeper Sam Schroeder kept the clean sheet.
Vic West played a tireless game with only 10 players in the opening half as many of their regulars were not available at game time to compete in this match. An eleventh player arrived shortly before halftime, but the scoring damage was done, and no matter how relentless the pressure was in the second half, their strikers simply couldn’t find their target.
Prospect Lake weathered a tremendous storm and deserving of the playoff victory. The excited group is delighted to continue their season. The Lakers advance to the quarter-final round in the B-Cup tournament. They travel to North Vancouver to face North Shore Girls Soccer Club Impact at Windsor Secondary School, tentatively scheduled for 12pm, Sunday, April 22nd.
A-Cup | Saanich Fusion vs. TSS Academy
Shortly after noon, Saanich Fusion kicked off their match vs. TSS Academy of Richmond, BC at Tyndall Park. Very little was known of the young side from Richmond competing in their inaugural season. TSS Academy were the only side to put a dent in the record of the undefeated national champions Surrey United earlier this season with a 4:4 draw.
TSS began the game composed with a clean passing game, often switching the point of attack from the back line. They entertained an attack early with two dangerous crosses in the keeper area that was parried away by Fusion keeper, Veronika Hackett.
Once Saanich Fusion settled their game, the field tilted and they pressed the young back line group from Richmond. Magic would appear in the form of the Fusion’s Catherine Cullen as she came alive. She scored four goals in a matter of a quarter hour; the first a well leaped header off a free kick; the second even more tantalizing as she got the second touch, a left footer, on an indirect free kick from outside the 6 yard line and rifled a bullet to the far left side of the net, threaded through seven TSS players! The young side was crushed, conceding two more goals to the crafty Cullen before gaining composure. Shell shocked, TSS finished out the game on the short end of a 4:0 result. Saanich Fusion’s Veronika Hackett earned the shutout
Saanich Fusion advance to a quarter-final match in Victoria versus LIWSA league champions, Prospect Lake, 12pm, Sunday, April 22nd at Layritz Park.
A-Cup | Castaways FC vs. Richmond FC
At 1pm, Layritz Park in Saanich featured a physical test between Castaways FC and Richmond FC. The visitors wearing vertical black & green stripes dictated play the majority of the opening half with first to ball mentality and drive to win at all cost. It was quite the storm to weather for the locals who were lead by their keeper, Tanya Jones whose fearless control of her area was simply the difference.
A late first half substitution and tactical rearrangement by Castaways coach Natalie Work paid dividends and we mean, huge dividends! Crafty midfielder, Katie Kraeutner shifted into the striker position and within seconds of the shift pressured the Richmond back line and soon found herself alone chipping the back peddling Richmond keeper for the opening tally. Moments later, she teamed up with striker Kristen Livingston in the area where she was fouled right at the forty-five minute mark. Rachel Davidson stepped up and finished the pk for a surprising 2:0 lead at half.
Kristen Livingston made it 3:0 for the home team minutes into the second half. Both teams traded goals after that point with Kelsey Marshall salting the game away for the 4:1 victory. Castaways keeper, Tanya Jones had one more brilliant moment, crafting a diving save on a Richmond pk late in the game.
Castaways have the enviable task of traveling to Cloverdale this Sunday where they look to ‘slay the dragon’ as they take on undefeated, current national champions and seven time provincial champions Surrey United. If you’re in the neighbourhood, the kick off is 11am at Cloverdale Athletic Park.
B-Cup | Castaways FC vs. Sooke Pumas
The final game of the day kicked off at the University of Victoria Field Turf. Fields 2a & 2b were combined for the rare north/south field configuration.
Sooke would net the only goal in the opening half on a pk by Brittany Williams. The Pumas forced active pressure in all areas of the field and kept League and Doug Day Champions, Castaways FC from mounting anything serious in the counter attack.
A collective gut check at half time by Castaways members seemed to inspire. Their standard of play notched up a ratchet and they began to press in all areas, keeping the play in the Sooke half of the field. Still trailing with less than ten minutes to play, a long range shot by Castaways’ Allyn Dagg nicked off a Sooke defender and bounced into the net. Two minutes later, a diagonal ball bounced into the penalty area where midfielder, Heidi Scott pursued fearlessly, heading the ball past a surprised Sooke keeper. Castaways then put their foot on the gas, punching a hole in the floorboards as a clever passing sequence found a wide open Joey Porco to complete the scoring and send Castaways through.
The locals head to Nanaimo this coming Sunday as they take on Mid Island League champions, Oceanside of Parksville. Kick off is scheduled for 2pm at the Merle Logan Turf.
A-Cup | Nanaimo United vs. North Shore Renegades
Nanaimo traveled to the Windsor Secondary Turf this past Sunday in North Vancouver and were not as fortunate as their LIWSA cousins, falling 5:0 to the hosts.
North Shore travels to Victoria this weekend for a quarter final match versus Terry Price Cup Champions, Gorge FC at Hampton Park. The Sunday afternoon game is scheduled for kick-off at 12:15pm.
A picture gallery of all four games played in Victoria is posted on the new LIWSA Facebook Page. www.facebook.com/liwsa