Cowichan United rolls over Lakehill, Cougars start A division campaign with win

Cowichan United’s Norah O’Reilly-Ryan collects the ball in her team’s end during their 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cowichan United’s Norah O’Reilly-Ryan collects the ball in her team’s end during their 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan United’s Celia Burdet fools a Lakehill player with some fancy footwork during Cowichan’s 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cowichan United’s Celia Burdet fools a Lakehill player with some fancy footwork during Cowichan’s 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan United defender Norah O’Reilly-Ryan slides a pass past a Lakehill player during her team’s 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cowichan United defender Norah O’Reilly-Ryan slides a pass past a Lakehill player during her team’s 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan United’s Sam Walker beats a Lakehill player during Cowichan’s 6-0 win at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cowichan United’s Sam Walker beats a Lakehill player during Cowichan’s 6-0 win at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan United’s Celia Burdet races past a Lakehill player with some fancy footwork during Cowichan’s 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cowichan United’s Celia Burdet races past a Lakehill player with some fancy footwork during Cowichan’s 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
United defender Norah O’Reilly-Ryan smiles after scoring the first goal of her senior career in a 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)United defender Norah O’Reilly-Ryan smiles after scoring the first goal of her senior career in a 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan United’s Madison Szafranski settles the ball as a Lakehill defender can only watch during Cowichan’s 6-0 win at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cowichan United’s Madison Szafranski settles the ball as a Lakehill defender can only watch during Cowichan’s 6-0 win at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan United's Caitlyn Burdet protects the ball from a defender late in her team's 6-0 win over Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Joeleen Achurch of the Cowichan Cougars clears the ball away from goalie Sara Tweten’s net during the second half of the team’s 4-1 win over Gorge at the Sherman Road turf last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Joeleen Achurch of the Cowichan Cougars clears the ball away from goalie Sara Tweten’s net during the second half of the team’s 4-1 win over Gorge at the Sherman Road turf last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ali Garnett of the Cowichan Cougars uses her head to redirect a throw-in during the second half of her team’s 4-1 win over Gorge at the Sherman Road turf last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Ali Garnett of the Cowichan Cougars uses her head to redirect a throw-in during the second half of her team’s 4-1 win over Gorge at the Sherman Road turf last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

The fearsome combination of Alyssa Klotz and Jada Hill once again led Cowichan United to victory, while the Cowichan Cougars returned to action and proved they will be just fine in the O30 A ranks.

Leading 1-0 at halftime after Klotz set up Hill’s 10th goal of the Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association season, United were clearly not satisfied and surged to a 6-0 victory over Lakehill FC.

“In the first half, it looked like the women were more worried about the cold than the game, and it resulted in us turning the ball over more than usual,” United head coach Adam Paulson said. “They turned it on in the second half, and you could see that once our effort matched our normal levels, we were able to find the extra touch or the extra pass when needed.”

After conceding the early goal to Hill, Lakehill went into a defensive formation that frustrated the Cowichan players with several last-second blocks. Cowichan nearly doubled their lead in the 40th minute when Madison Jack redirected a cross from Mariah Thomas, but her attempt was cleared off the line by a defender.

Cowichan regrouped at halftime and needed less than a minute to make it 2-0 when Hill fed the ball to Klotz, who weaved around a couple of defenders to beat the goalie. Klotz notched her second of the match seven minutes later after a Lakehill defender mishandled a goal kick from Kate Collins.

Defender Norah O’Reilly-Ryan made a rare foray into the offensive zone and it paid off as she worked a give-and-go with Hill to score the first goal of her senior career. Three minutes after that, Hill again set up Klotz, who scored her third of the game and league-leading 12th of the season. Finally, after s series of passes, Keira Martin sent Madison Szafranski in on a breakaway and Szafranski scored her second in two games to cap off the scoring.

United will visit Vic West FC on Sunday for their final game of 2021.

Last Friday, the Cowichan Cougars played their first game in more than a month after a midseason promotion from the B division, and beat Gorge FC 4-1. Playing against second-place Gorge, the Cougars were expecting a tough test, and had to start the game without regular goalie Sara Tweten, with Christine Switzer stepping in between the posts. The Cowichan defenders limited Gorge’s chances, and Switzer finished her half of the match with a clean sheet.

“There was no way I could fill Sara’s shoes in net,” Switzer laughed. “The defence made the job easier for me.”

On offence, Cowichan maintained consistent pressure, and were rewarded with a goal by Jenna Waddy in the 30th minute. Waddy had been the leading scorer in the B division, but had to start again at zero with her team’s promotion. Ashley Stultz made it 2-0 five minutes later, then Waddy scored two more off great passes by Tonya Kilmer near the end of the half.

Tweten was back in goal for the second half, and the game opened up with chances at both ends. Tweten made several big saves, but one defensive miscue allowed for Gorge to get on the board.

“It was a solid game from all players,” coach Darian Achurch noted. “We played our game and I am looking forward for more games against teams in the A division.”

The Cougars’ next scheduled game isn’t until Jan. 16 when they play host to Vic West at the Sherman Road Turf at noon.

In Div. 3, NIFA Pacific United FC had their game on Saturday postponed. They are scheduled to visit Gorge Masters at Hampton Park this Sunday.

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