Territorial advantage finally wears down Gorge
When first meets worst, it's almost certain what's going to happen.
Even though Cowichan LMG Pringle, the top team in Div. 1 of the Island Soccer League, scored a 2-0 victory over last-place Gorge Friday night at Victoria's Hampton Park, it was anything but a foregone conclusion.
Cowichan dominated the play but dodged a bullet with a 1-0 lead in the second half when Gorge's Quinn Van Gylswyk, who possesses a dangerous free kick reminiscent of Cowichan's Tyler Hughes, sent one off the crossbar. Cowichan eventually went on to score the insurance marker to wrap up the victory.
"They're definitely a vastly-improved team since we played them last,'' said Cowichan coach Glen Martin.
Matt Arnett put Cowichan on the scoreboard just before halftime at 42 minutes.
"The second half we really carried that over,'' said Martin. "We totally outplayed them — the old cardinal soccer sin, we couldn't put them away.''
It might have been a frantic finish for Cowichan had Van Gylswyk scored on his free kick.
"Finally, we got that second goal,'' said Martin. "That took the pressure off.''
The marker came from Tasos Liaros, a Ladysmith product who's a star in the Victoria Highlanders development program, with 16 minutes to play.
The main thing to that point, Martin conceded, was "we stayed patient when we weren't scoring.''
Liaros fit into the lineup well while Sam Beswick, a recent addition to the team, was solid at right back and received the hard hat for Cowichan player of the game.
Martin also expects to add Dan Cato to the playing ranks this week to help fill the void left by some recent player departures.
Darian Achurch played goal in place of the injured Joel Wilson and recorded the shutout. He also pitched a shutout for Cowichan Div. 2 on the weekend.
LMG continues its road swing with a rare Saturday afternoon game at 2 at Victoria's Royal Athletic Park against Castaways.