VI Wave Overtake Cowichan United in Jackson Cup Quarter-Final

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The VI Wave's Blair Sturrock (white jersey) and Cowichan's Jordan Crocker (black jersey) look to take control of a loose ball during Sunday's action. Sturrock would later score to help the Wave secure a 2-0 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

March 5, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Vancouver Island Wave scored a pair of second-half goals to defeat Cowichan United 2-0 in Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) Jackson Cup quarter-final playoff action Sunday afternoon at the Finlayson Turf at Topaz Park in Victoria.

The Wave's Rhys Foster (right) win this header battle with Cowichan's Ryan Sampson (left) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Wave’s Rhys Foster (right) win this header battle with Cowichan’s Ryan Sampson (left) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The win advances the Division 1 Wave into the semi-finals where they will take on division rivals Nanaimo United on March 18th at Merl Logan Turf in Nanaimo (7:00 pm).

Cowichan's Ryan Andre (right) and the Wave's Will Adams (left) battle for control early in Sunday's match (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Cowichan’s Ryan Andre (right) and the Wave’s Will Adams (left) battle for control early in Sunday’s match (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Wave's Blair Sturrock gets a shot away in front of Cowichan's Jordan Korven (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Wave’s Blair Sturrock gets a shot away in front of Cowichan’s Jordan Korven (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The winner of that game will take on the winner of the other Jackson Cup semi-final, taking place on Saturday March 17th (7:15 pm) at Hampton Park in Victoria between Gorge FC and Cowichan FC.

Cowichan's Colin Knight (left) dribbles away from pressure from the Wave's Pierce Chapman (right) and Kiyoshi Croke (centre) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Cowichan’s Colin Knight (left) dribbles away from pressure from the Wave’s Pierce Chapman (right) and Kiyoshi Croke (centre) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Wave's Will Adams clears the ball away from danger during second half action Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Wave’s Will Adams clears the ball away from danger during second half action Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Jackson Cup final is slated for Sunday April 2 at 2:30 pm at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.

In Sunday’s quarter-final, the Wave carried the play during most of the first half, but never really threatened, other than one solid shot straight at Cowichan goaltender Darian Achurch that he easily gathered in and another attempt off a corner that missed the mark.

Cowichan's Tanner Dobson (black jersey) dribbles through the check of the Wave's Caleb Nelson (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Cowichan’s Tanner Dobson (black jersey) dribbles through the check of the Wave’s Caleb Nelson (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Cowichan United's Tanner Dobson (10) tries to get control of a loose ball under a check from the VI Wave's Will Adams during quarter-final action of the Jackson Cup playoffs Sunday afternoon at Topaz Park in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
Cowichan United’s Tanner Dobson (10) tries to get control of a loose ball under a check from the VI Wave’s Will Adams during quarter-final action of the Jackson Cup playoffs Sunday afternoon at Topaz Park in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).

Cowichan, for their part, spent very little time in the Wave end, with their only real threat to score coming on a shot off a corner attempt that goaltender Mitchell Whittla tipped over the bar.

The VI Wave's Sylvain Taghaoussi (left) and Cowichan's Kevin Smith (right) take to the air for a header attempt (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The VI Wave’s Sylvain Taghaoussi (left) and Cowichan’s Kevin Smith (right) take to the air for a header attempt (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the second half, Cowichan came out with renewed energy to begin the frame, but continued to be thwarted by a solid Wave defence.  The game settled in after that, with both teams spending a good amount of time in the mid-field area, looking for opportunities to penetrate the opposing team’s defence.

Cowichan's Stevan Zorich (11) tries to avoid taking a knee to the face on this clearing kick by the Wave's Rhys Foster (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Cowichan’s Stevan Zorich (11) tries to avoid taking a knee to the face on this clearing kick by the Wave’s Rhys Foster (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Wave looked like they would be first to strike midway through the half, when Matteo Ventura, who had just subbed in, broke free off the left wing and launched a beautiful curving shot toward the top corner of the net, but a sensational diving save from Achurch kept the score knotted at 0-0.

The Wave's Blair Sturrock (white jersey) attempts a backward scissors kick during Sunday's game against Cowichan (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Wave’s Blair Sturrock (white jersey) attempts a backward scissors kick during Sunday’s game against Cowichan (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Shortly after that, Cowichan was called for a hand ball in their own crease, giving the Wave the first penalty kick opportunity of the game.  Matteo would be tasked with the shot and after Achurch made another great diving save, he could not control the rebound and Matteo pounced on it, easily putting it in the goal and giving the wave a 1-0 lead.

Cowichan's Stevan Zorich (right) grabs the hand of the Wave's Sylvain Taghaoussi (left) to keep him away from a loose ball (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Cowichan’s Stevan Zorich (right) grabs the hand of the Wave’s Sylvain Taghaoussi (left) to keep him away from a loose ball (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Cowichan would pressure a couple of more times after that to no avail and when the Wave’s Blair Sturrock scored in the final minutes of the half to make it 2-0, Cowichan’s hopes of advancement in the playoffs were over.

The Wave's Blair Sturrock celebrates his goal that helped clinch the 2-0 win over Cowichan United on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Wave’s Blair Sturrock celebrates his goal that helped clinch the 2-0 win over Cowichan United on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In other VISL action Sunday afternoon, also at Topaz Park, a Division 4 quarter-final playoff match saw Castaways Invicta defeat the Victoria Blazers 3-2 in a game that was decided by penalty kicks.

In Division 4 action Sunday, the Castaways Invicta (blue jerseys) defeated  the Victoria Blazers (green jerseys) 3-2 on penalty kicks (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
In Division 4 action Sunday, the Castaways Invicta (blue jerseys) defeated the Victoria Blazers (green jerseys) 3-2 on penalty kicks (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Castaways will now meet SPL in one Division 4 semi-final on the March 17 weekend, while the other will be played between the Zgoda Juniors and Bays United.  A date for the Division 4 final is yet to be determined.

For more information on all VISL playoff action, visit the VISL web page at http://www.visl.org

For more photos of this game, please visit photographer Christian J. Stewart’s web site at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/f373407129

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