When you make the jump from Division 2 soccer to Div. 1, everything happens just a bit faster, and a little more crisply.
That’s why coaches Adam Paulson and Kaine Dreaver told their Cowichan FC Div 1 women’s side to play at a higher tempo prior to their first match of the season in Nanaimo on Saturday night. It seemed to work as Cowichan FC’s result was a 3-0 win over Nanaimo United.
“Both teams started slowly, as the early season jitters seemed to be affecting both teams,” Paulson noted.
Things picked up in the 20th minute when Keisha Sampson spotted Jada Hill making a run. Sampson’s perfect pass split the defence, allowing Hill to pick up the ball on the run, and take it in for the score.
Nanaimo almost got one back but stellar play from Cowichan goalie Kate Collins and defenders Colleen Bob and Kristina Biello thwarted the attempt.
After a near goal from the foot of Cowichan’s Taya Brubacher as Cowichan pressed, an errant Nanaimo pass ended up in the hands of Collins in the 27th minute. Her booming drop kick flew over the heads of the Nanaimo defence, and Hill broke past them and managed to score her second of the game.
Not content to sit on their lead, Cowichan’s Aisha Werner nearly potted a goal before the half but the score was 2-0 at halftime.
The game was put out of reach in the 68th minute, as Hill and Sampson connected and the latter coolly passed it by Nanaimo’s goalie and into the corner of the net.
“I thought we played hard,” Paulson said. “We have supplemented our core with some new additions coming up from the youth ranks, and I was impressed by the commitment level the team showed to working the game plan. Nanaimo is a solid team, but they were definitely dealing with the growing pains of playing with a lot of players unfamiliar with each other. Next week we have a game against a team that has played together for years, so we will see how we fare against them.”
Cowichan’s home opener is set for 12 p.m. on Sunday at Sherman Road, against Gorge United.