Powell River Villa lost on the road to Cowichan FC by a score of 2-0 on Sunday, November 3, at Sherman Road Turf in Duncan.
“Cowichan has consistently been one of the top teams in [Vancouver Island Soccer League] Division 1 over the last few years, so we knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Villa coach Chris McDonough. “We played really well to hold them to two goals, and we created a lot of scoring chances of our own, so overall we’re happy with this result.”
Cowichan scored 12 minutes into the first half and at the 51-minute mark in the second half.
“Our defensive strategy is still working well, making us dangerous on the field,” said McDonough. “We held them mostly to shots from the outside, our keeper Matt Liknes made lots of saves to keep the game close, and we had lots of good scoring chances from counterattacks. We were able to absorb quite a bit of pressure from Cowichan, who play very well at home.”
Down a few players due to injuries and other commitments, Villa fielded four permitted youth players on the weekend.
“We had three players from Victoria and one from Nanaimo United on the field with us,” said McDonough. “They all did well, and we were happy to get them. We are in the middle of three away games in a row, so it is great to get support from players and other teams.”
McDonough has never had a team on the road for three weekends in a row in his history of coaching.
“It won’t be easy,” he said, “and it’s going to be hard on the club, but we’re ready for the challenge. We have a big player pool to draw on and we’re confident we can field a good team for the remaining two road games.”
Villa’s game next week against Westcastle United marks the halfway point of the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s 18-game regular season.
“Westcastle is affiliated with the Victoria Highlanders, who play in the USL League 2, which is pre-professional soccer,” said McDonough. “We played them last year, so we know what to expect. We’ll prepare and try to get some points for the standings.”
Villa is currently tied for seventh place in the division with the Juan de Fuca All Flows. Both teams have six points each, however, the All Flows have a higher goal differential.
“Right now, we are out of the relegation zone, but the season isn’t over yet,” said McDonough. “Our goal right now is to pick up some points every week we play.”
Villa plays Westcastle United on Saturday, November 9, in an evening game at Finlayson Turf in Victoria. The team then travels to Westhills Stadium in Langford on Saturday, November 16, to face Juan de Fuca to start the second half of the season before returning home for a game on Saturday, November 23.