Cowichan suffers its first loss

Protecting the ball from the opposition is the strong suit of Cowichan veteran Tyler Hughes. - Andrew Leong/file
Protecting the ball from the opposition is the strong suit of Cowichan veteran Tyler Hughes.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

Cowichan LMG Pringle had to look realistically at its first loss of the Div. 1 Island Soccer League season.

“It would have been a pretty tall task to go 18 games undefeated,’’ said Cowichan’s Tyler Hughes after a 2-0 loss to brother Jordie Hughes and Bays United Liquor Plus at Hampton Park Friday.

“After playing all the teams once, Bays is probably our biggest challenge,’’ said Tyler Hughes. “There’s Bays and Saanich Fusion. Player for player, they’ve (Bays) probably got some of the most experienced guys in the league right now.’’

Cowichan ran the table with nine straight wins at home before taking on Bays in the first of nine in a row on the road.

“It was a pretty even game,’’ said Hughes. “They came out quite strong and put us under a good bit of pressure the first 15 or 20 minutes. We kind of weathered that storm.’’

Cowichan generated lots of chances in the other direction after that — mainly off set pieces — but couldn’t produce any scoring. Bays scored in the last 10 minutes of the half for a 1-0 lead.

“In those tight games, you’re not going to have a lot of chances,’’ said Hughes. “You have to make sure you take your chance when you get it.’’

Cowichan pressured in the late stages but Jordie Hughes put it away for Bays with his league-leading 13th goal of the season.

Cowichan is back at Hampton Park Friday for a game against a suddenly-rejuvenated Gorge team.

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