Powell River Villa Soccer Club lost 4-1 in its exhibition match against TSS FC Rovers of League1 BC in Richmond on April 23.
“We haven’t come up against a team of the Rovers’ level since I’ve been coaching Villa,” said Chris McDonough, Villa’s manager. “The game was actually closer than the score indicates, and it was one of our best efforts this year. I’m proud of all our players for raising their competition level to match what our opponents were doing.”
Villa had a chance to take an early lead, with a shot that hit the crossbar, fell and bounced, but the referee felt it bounced out of the net rather than in. Rovers then scored twice in the first 45 minutes to take a 2-0 lead at halftime.
“Rovers scored again early in the second half, and then halfway through, we were awarded a penalty shot,” said McDonough. “One of our pickup players, Chris Fisher, who is from Powell River and now plays with the University of British Columbia, took the shot and got it past the keeper to make the score 3-1. It was a great goal.”
Rovers scored once again to increase their lead, and despite another Villa penalty shot at 88 minutes, the game ended with only one Villa goal.
“Overall, the game was a good experience for our younger players, some of whom want to go on to post-secondary soccer in a few years, and we’re grateful to the Rovers for hosting us,” said McDonough. “Pacing and speed of play were the big takeaways for us, because the Rovers are another level above what we’re used to. We adapted, held our own throughout the game, and created our own chances against them. Overall, the game gave us a great opportunity to see the kind of things we need to work on over the summer to improve our performance next year.”
Villa is now on break until the fall, although the club will continue to practice over the summer months, before a return to the field in September in Vancouver Island Soccer League’s Division 1.