Powell River Villa faces must-win in final game

Possible relegation to lower division concerns coach and players

If Powell River Villa soccer club fails to beat Nanaimo United in its last game of the season, the side will be relegated from Vancouver Island Soccer League Division 2 to Division 3 for 2017/2018.

On Sunday, March 19, Villa lost 3-2 at home to Prospect Lake Lakers, a very disappointing result because the home side controlled the game, according to coach Mario Paul.

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After veteran Kye Taylor opened the scoring for the home team with a side-foot volley, the visitors tied the game just before the end of the opening half. Paul said breakdowns in communication between his defenders and goalkeeper led to two more Prospect Lake goals in the second half.

“We did our best to try to get ourselves back in the game with a late goal from Billy Bagiopoulos,” said Paul. “That was all we could do.”

Taylor, who has endured an injury-riddled season, said the team has its back against the wall going into the final game.

“We were hoping not to be in this position,” said Taylor. “Getting three points on Sunday would have been nice, but that’s the type of season it has been.”

Villa’s season, and whether or not it stays in Division 2, comes down to some big “ifs,” according to Paul.

“It leaves us with our fate in our own hands and hoping Prospect Lake does us a favour and beats Sooke next week, leaving us with an opportunity to get three points and stay within the division,” he said.

Sooke currently holds a two-point advantage over Villa in the standings. Nanaimo is three points ahead.

With a win, Villa finishes ahead of Nanaimo, and possibly Sooke, and remains in Division 2. With a loss, the team will be relegated to Division 3.

“We’ve been down there before and it’s always a hard climb to get back out,” said Taylor. “We don’t feel like we’re a Division 3-calibre team. It feels like it has been a season of very little to no luck. We think we’re due for a good result and can go earn one.”

Game time is 1:30 pm on Sunday, March 26, at Timberlane Park.

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