2-1 Victory over Cowichan FC

August 17th, 2014

   VIU men's soccer team played Cowichan FC in their first preseason game, in front of a good crowd Wed at Ladysmith's Forrest field. The Mariners came away with a 2-1 win over the VISL Jackson Cup Finalists. Cowichan FC consistently finishing at the top of the VISL 1st division and has a number of VIU Alumni players past VIU captains, Jesse Winter, Stew Barker, Brad Archibald and last season’s Mariner leader Dan Cato as well as past PacWest Rookie of the year Kevin Brown.

  The Mariners established some good ball possession early into the game but it was Cowichan capitalizing on a defensive mistake to take a lead ,10 minutes in. Cowichan's striker Steve Scott jumped on an errant pass and found himself in alone on Scott Brown ,Scott made no mistake putting the ball behind Brown. The Mariners continued to work hard and kept their composure moving the ball around well. Striker; Blaze Roberts was stopped a number of times by Cowichan keeper Taylor Joe,  the best opportunity was Roberts jumping on a Jordan DeGraaf rebound in front, but only to see his shot also stopped by Joe. The consistent pressure and composure finally paid off with Roberts striking a shot low from in close that Joe could not hold on to and the Mariners went into the 2nd half tied at 1-1. 

 Both teams making substitutions at the half , the game started to opened up with scoring opportunities at both ends. Mariners brought in goalkeeper Ryan Wilkes an English international student that was put to the test early, stopping two shots from Paddy Nelson (last year’s VISL top goal scorer)and Steve Scott both from in close. The Mariner's captain Farhad Abdulgani scored the winner 25 minutes into the 2nd half, Abdulgani showed his talents in the air heading in a Jordan DeGraaf corner. The final 20 minutes was still a back and forth affair but it was Mariners coming away with a well-deserved win. 

  Bill Merriman comments "I was very pleased with our teams overall performance, I felt our players tried to move the ball and created some good scoring opportunities. I felt both goalkeepers did well and made the saves they need to make and set up the play from the back well. Defenders Mateo Kostering, Santi Muniz and co-Captain Jeff Travis worked well together and gave us something to build from. Midfielders Jordan Degraaf, Luke Phye and captain Farhad Abdulgani controlled the midfield well and showed good promise to help both defensively and offensively , Striker Blaze Roberts showed what he is capable of causing lots of problem and scoring goals. The most positive thing we can take away is the depth of the team with all players contributing and showing that there will be some good competition for playing time. I am still waiting for Miguel Banting, Keegan Lang ,Renan Rebelatto and our top recruit from Spain Victor Blasco to all get in to the lineup."