Norah O’Reilly-Ryan was part of a solid Cowichan United defensive corps in a 1-0 win over Saltspring United on Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Norah O’Reilly-Ryan was part of a solid Cowichan United defensive corps in a 1-0 win over Saltspring United on Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan United outlasts Saltspring

Cowichan wears down short-staffed home team in 1-0 win

Cowichan United took a short ferry trip on Sunday, returning home with three points after a 1-0 win over a short-staffed Saltspring United team.

Saltspring had just 10 players available for the Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association Div. 2 match, but Cowichan was also missing several players and had to play some out of position. Saltspring took advantage of the situation to press, but the Cowichan defensive corps of Kristina Biello, Hillary Fisher, Samatha Walker, Norah O’Reilly-Ryan and Amelia Froese prevented any scoring opportunities.

Fisher later moved into the midfield and was sent down the wing by Sophia Jack, then fired a powerful low pass across the net, where Madison Thomas was there to redirect it past the Saltspring keeper for her first of the season.

Cowichan had more possession in the second half as the Saltspring players tired. Sammy Maclean nearly doubled the lead, but her hard shot from the top of the box rang off the crossbar. Tiara Enger held the fort in the Cowichan net for her second shutout of the season.

“Saltspring generated a few corners near the end of the game as they pressed for the tying goal, but Tiara was equal to the challenge each time,” Cowichan coach Adam Paulson reported.

Cowichan will play at home this Friday, hosting Nanaimo on the Sherman Road turf at 7:30 p.m.