Grayson Chalifoux scored twice last Friday as Cowichan LMG earned its way into the first round of the Sir John Jackson Cup tournament with a 3-1 victory over Juan de Fuca at the Sherman Road turf.
Drawn into a play-in game, Cowichan had to defeat JDF All Flows, a fellow Div. 1 soccer team, before they could reach the round of 16, and Chalifoux provided the offence his team needed to take care of business.
Cowichan created several scoring chances in the early going, but it wasn’t until the 27-minute mark that Chalifoux, a mid-season addition to the club who now has six goals in LMG silks, found the back of the net.
“It was a bit of a ping-pong finish,” Chalifoux. “My original shot went off the defender and back to me to finish again.”
Cowichan pushed to extend their lead, but the JDF keeper made several stops to ensure the score remained close.
Chalifoux struck again after the halftime break, this time with a low shot through a number of defenders that the goalie was unable to see until it was too late.
JDF responded just two minutes later to get back within a goal.
“It was the kind of defensive breakdown we had been talking about all week,” Cowichan assistant coach Ryan Flynn observed. “We have talked about mental toughness and not giving up goals when we are winning, and that is exactly what happened.”
Juan de Fuca did everything they could to even the score, but Cowichan quickly regained the upper hand, then sealed the victory with a third goal on a strong individual effort by Blaze Roberts.
Cowichan’s next opponent in the Jackson Cup tournament will be Lakehill, the team that unseated Cowichan as Div. 1 regular-season champions this season. That match will take place this Friday at 7:30 on the Sherman Road turf.
Lakehill narrowly won both games between the teams during league play this year, prevailing 3-2 at Keserich Field in September and 1-0 at Victoria’s Braefoot Park in November.