Jose Muro was a standout at right back for Cowichan LMG last Friday before leaving the game with an injury. (Citizen file)

Jose Muro was a standout at right back for Cowichan LMG last Friday before leaving the game with an injury. (Citizen file)

Cowichan LMG plays to scoreless draw with Bays United

‘That was not the way it was supposed to come out’

Cowichan LMG head coach Ryan Flynn knew his team needed to do two things to beat Bays United in their Div. 1 men’s soccer game at the Sherman Road pitch last Friday night.

One was to shut down Bays’ Paddy Nelson, who was tied for the Vancouver Island Soccer League scoring lead going into the weekend. The other was to score more goals than the other guys.

Half the work was taken care of when Nelson, a former Cowichan star, had to miss the game due to a coaching commitment. Unfortunately, Cowichan couldn’t do the other half of the job, and had to settle for a 0-0 draw. Cowichan generated a couple of solid scoring chances late in the match, but they didn’t pan out.

“That was not the way it was supposed to come out,” Flynn said. “It was not ideal. [Bays] were really happy when the game was over and it was 0-0.”

The Cowichan players just weren’t committed to the game the way Flynn would have liked.

“They were playing at 75 per cent pretty much the whole game,” he said. “The intensity was a little low; we were doing everything a bit lower than expectations.”

While the Cowichan players may have felt they could get away with playing less than their best against a struggling team missing a star, Bays likely rallied without Nelson.

“As happens so often when you lose a player, the team bands together,” Flynn noted. “They didn’t produce much, but we didn’t produce much either. We weren’t reacting the way we should have been and have been lately. It was one of those games where you have a letdown. The nice thing is that we had the letdown but we didn’t lose the game, so that’s good.”

Ray Fox earned his second shutout in the Cowichan net. Veteran right back Jose Muro had a strong outing for LMG, but was injured late in the match and is questionable for the team’s next game.

Still second in Div. 1 behind unbeaten Lakehill, Cowichan will visit Vic West at Finlayson Park this Saturday. With Fox away, newly signed goalkeeper Robbie Cochrane will make his debut.

“Him and Ray are two of the better goalies in the league, which is nice to have,” Flynn said. “With them and Taylor Joe, we are able to carry three quality goalies, and they are all quality goalies.”

In Div. 3, Cowichan Oak FC played to a 6-3 win over Castaways at Finlayson last Saturday. Stevan Zoric opened the scoring in the 10th minute after being sent in one-on-one against the Nanaimo keeper. Alex Smith and Connor Crichton scored in the 13th and 15th minutes, respectively, before Brandon Tolfo scored his first of the night in the 19th minute. Castaways rallied to score two of their own and the first half ended with Cowichan up 4-2.

The second half saw Tolfo notch his second from the penalty spot early in the second half after a Castaways handball. He then completed his hat trick in the 68th minute after Castaways had scored their third.

Next up for The Oak are the Prospect Lake Lakers this Saturday at Layritz turf. Prospect won the previous meeting between the teams 3-1. Cowichan’s Smith and Prospect’s Jordie Hughes are neck-and-neck in the Div. 3B goal-scoring race with nine goals apiece.

In Div. 4, the Cowichan Fury played to a 3-2 loss against Prospect Lake at the Sherman Road turf on Saturday evening. Shermag Joseph scored both Cowichan goals, bookending Prospect’s three. The Fury visit Bays United at Oak Bay High School this Sunday.