A tie or a win was all Powell River Villa soccer club needed against Victoria’s Gorge to win its division and be promoted from Vancouver Island Soccer League Division 3A to Division 2 for the 2018/2019 season.
Villa dominated in a 3-1 win over Gorge in front of about 200 hometown fans who crowded the sidelines at Timberlane Park under perfect weather conditions on February 10.
Villa’s captain Kye Taylor opened the scoring with a penalty kick to the top corner of the net at about the 15-minute mark of the first half. Then, on a breakaway, Villa’s star player went down with a hamstring injury and had to leave the game.
With Taylor sidelined, Villa faltered for the only time in the match, allowing Gorge to tie the game at one going into halftime.
In the second half, it was all Villa.
“Scott Sawchuk's goal was a great strike that gave us the win and some comfort for the last 15 minutes,” said Villa head coach Chris McDonough. “He stepped into the 18-yard box and kicked a rocket into the top corner and then Jake Kenmuir scored on a lucky deflection.”
McDonough singled out the contribution of his back line of defenders who were solid throughout the season, allowing only 10 goals against in 17 games. Against Gorge, the play of Nick Van't Schip and Kurtis Dennison was key to the win.
“Nick played really well,” said McDonough. “His defensive work doesn't get noticed a lot but there were a couple of big tackles he made and just his effort throughout the game was what was needed. He and Kurtis turned the tide by dominating the midfield and giving us possession and support for attacking players.”
More soccer is on the horizon for Villa, beginning with the Challenge Cup. The tournament is a straight knockout and Villa’s first game takes place Saturday, February 17, in Victoria against Castaways FC, a Division 3B team. Villa’s second match will also be on the road the following weekend.
If Villa wins its first two games of the Challenge Cup, the club will have the home field advantage in the semi-finals.