Slim victories doing the trick for Cowichan
Cowichan LMG Pringle isn't winning by big scores, but it's still winning to maintain its hold on top spot in Div. 1 of the Island Soccer League.
While Saanich Fusion and Bays United Liquor Plus have been pulverizing teams in recent weeks, Cowichan is narrowly getting by in games like Saturday's 1-0 decision over Vic West at Victoria's Finlayson Park.
"We can't worry about that,'' said Cowichan coach Glen Martin about what the other teams are doing. "We're not going to go around smashing teams like we did at the start of the year.''
Cowichan's revamped squad that lost the likes of snipers like Kevan Brown is getting the job done with tight defence, an opportunistic attack and the goalkeeping of Joel Wilson, who recorded another shutout.
The team is also now losing defensive stalwart Riley Taiji, who's returning to Cornell University.
Dan Cato has been one of the great additions so Cowichan's nearest rivals haven't gained any ground.
"I'm sure glad we signed him,'' said Martin of Cato. "He played really well (Saturday) night.''
Cowichan and Vic West went through a scoreless first half.
"Very even teams,'' said Martin. "They had quite a bit of possession. So did we. It wasn't a high-flying end-to-end game.''
Ryan Andre eventually scored the game-winner with 20 minutes left on one of those patented Cowichan set pieces from Tyler Hughes.
"It was good to get the shutout,'' said Martin. "Last year, they beat us 2-0 this game.''
Cowichan achieved what it set out to do. "It was pretty uneventful overall,'' said Martin.
Jesse Winter was the player of the match for Cowichan.
Chris Arnett just came off a suspension and will be sitting out the next two games after picking up another yellow card.
Cowichan is off technically till the new year, although a make-up game against Sooke has been tentatively set for New Year's Eve. That's unlikely to happen.
Cowichan United Div. 2 dropped its third straight game, 4-1 to Gorge United Friday, and fell back to .500 for the season at 5-5-2.