Nicola Mawson (second from left) hits a half-volley for Cowichan United’s game-winner against Gorge United on Friday, while Sam Walker (13) provides support. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan United bounces back to beat Gorge

Cowichan has big second half under driving rain

A second half surge gave Cowichan United a thrilling 3-1 win over Gorge United in driving rain at the Sherman Road turf on Friday.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Cowichan mounted a massive comeback after the break to gain a valuable win in the Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association Div. 2 standings.

“It was amazing to see the girls play last night,” head coach Adam Paulson reported the following day. “Gorge United faced two relentless forces last night: the weather and our team. I have been so proud to watch the team evolve into a tight cohesive unit that gives their all to win games.”

The result marked the second straight win for a Cowichan team that hasn’t lost a match since mid-November.

Cowichan settled in early on Friday, earning a series of corners, none of which led to any offence. The host team continued to press, but Gorge gradually found their footing. Cowichan goalkeeper Tiara Enger came up big with a save off a Gorge striker from point-blank range, but eventually fell victim to the conditions as a dropkick slipped off her boot and into the back of a Gorge player who was able to send the ball into the open net.

Cowichan came out flying after the break, and it didn’t take long to tie the score as captain Sam Walker rose above her check to send a header into the roof of the net off a pinpoint corner from Kate Collins. Keeping their level of play up, Cowichan saw Maya Johnston send a ball down the wing to Jada Hill, who swung in a cross that Nicola Mawson put into the net with two defenders draped all over her.

Down a goal, Gorge raised their level and were looking to tie the game. One of their forwards slipped the ball under Enger as she attempted to clear outside the 18-yard box. The teams held their breath as the ball rolled toward the open net, but Cowichan’s Rachel Price was able to get back and clear the ball off the line just in time.

With 12 minutes left to play, Johnston again started a scoring play as she beat her check and sent a ball inside to Mawson, who split the defence with a well-placed ball that Nicole Pugh buried as she was brought down from behind.

Cowichan will wrap up their regular season this coming Sunday when they host Saltspring Island.

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