Written by Mike Magee (ISN) – Photos by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
March 14, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – On Sunday at Mark Isfeld Secondary, Comox Valley United defeated the 3B league leading Vantreights in a semi-final match of the Pearkes Challenge Cup 1-0.
A stalemate after full time, and no change in the score through overtime, finally on the 6th shot in the shootout it was Riley Murray scoring the game winner.
Comox Valley United’s Tom Butcher makes his way past a sliding Vantreights defender on Sunday in Courtenay – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
From start to finish both teams traded momentum with Comox controlling possession and territory for most of the first half. Plenty of good chances sparked from the speed of Dakota Garrett and Nick Marinus where had, but none could solve Vantreights goalie Phil Gilbertson.
Vantreights Geordie Wilson soars through the air after a high ball against the Comox Valley United – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
After a brief water break, United would feel the momentum slip away as the majority of possession and territory would be taken by Vantreights. But it was CV United’s goalkeeper Tyler Salmond’s turn to shut the door and deny all who could take a shot.
United’s Gokhan Avcil looks to spring Nick Marinus in a Pearkes Challenge Cup match – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
A red card would be handed out to United’s Brian Gage for an incident which held multiple infractions against the Comox Valley defender. His team was forced to play short for the last 15 minutes of the 2nd half and all of overtime.
Against the grain of playing a man short Comox was able to put together some decent pressure which lead to some quality chances. Overtime was much of the same with the momentum traded and both teams coming close, but neither able to finish. The tension grew as the shootout loomed.
Carey Cordecedo goes around a Vantreights and spark the offense Sunday – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
It took 6 shots but it was Comox Valley’s Riley Murray registering the game winner on the final shot of the game and with that United was through to the finals.
Comox Valley United travels this Saturday to Royal Athletic Park to face the Campbell River Golden Wings for the Pearkes Challenge Cup.
Nick Marinus beats the defender on the inside and is looking to attack during a 0-0 tie. Comox would win in a shootout – Photo by Lena-marie Pawluk (ISN)
The Golden Wings also compete in the 3rd division but with so many teams, the league has been split into 2 tiers. Comox Valley United currently occupies 2nd place in the B tier with a 10-2-4 record while Campbell River sports a record of 5-6-5 and is currently ranked 6th in Tier A.
The Pearkes Challenge Cup is competed for by 40 teams drawn from the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s Division 3 and 4 teams. Comox Valley has won 5 single knock out competition games in a row to reach the finals as did the Golden Wings. Both teams should be in fine form as they take center stage in the Provincial Capital on Saturday in the Cup final at Royal Athletic Park.