Oceanside United hold off Nanaimo
Oceanside’s ladies of soccer dug deep and got it done down at Qualicum Beach Rec Fields Sunday, beating Nanaimo 1-nil in a nail biter that marked the start of Provincial Cup play.
“That was a very challenging game for us against a seasoned, skilled, intelligent side,” Oceanside United coach Dan Mahony said after.
The day before, Mahony, who was especially animated on the sidelines during the match, expressed some concern
“I’m a bit worried actually,” he said Saturday, explaining that his side has not played since Christmas break and had not been able to practice due to field closure and Springwood Park.
Plus, he went into the game missing five players due to work, family commitments and injuries.
Nanaimo carried much of the play in the opening half of Sunday’s game, but never really threatened. Deadlocked in scoreless tie at the half, the locals had good reason to cheer with about 20 minutes remaining when veteran striker Shelly Terpstra stole the ball at midfield, held off a defender and delivered a crisp cross to a streaking Sue Maltby who one-timed it into the back of the net from the top of the six yard box.
The goal clearly sparked Oceanside, who turned up the heat and took over the play for a brief period of time, but Nanaimo, a perennial powerhouse in the Mid Island Women’s Soccer League, refused to roll over and threw everything they had at OU in the dying minutes.
“They’re tenacious and they put a lot of pressure on us in our zone, but our defensive unit and our goalie held off the barrage,” said Mahony.
As for Maltby, the 40-something mother of one, who, by the way, had a hockey game then night before, has scored some big goals during her career with OU at outside left midfield, but Saturday’s ranks right up there.
“That was a huge goal,” Mahony chucked, explaining how in the pre-game team meeting “I said ‘Sue, just get me one goal today, okay,’ and lo and behold she did, and it stood up to be the winner.”
Oceanside United finished regular season play sitting second in the five-team MIWSL A Division at 5-2-1 behind the Courtenay Legends (who handed them both their losses), while Nanaimo ran away with the B Division title.
With the regular season a wrap, both divisions merge into the round robin Provincial Cup playdowns with the winner advancing to the BC’s in June.
Oceanside United has represented Vancouver Island at the provincials the past two years.
Keeping Nanaimo off the board were Barb Wildman-Spencer, Shanna Nickolet, Heather Morrison, Erica Auringer, Chrissy Klemencic, Claire O’Connor, and keeper Pam Richer. Richer, OU’s longtime starting keeper, was playing her first game in goal since November and came up with some clutch saves to help secure the win.
Oceanside United resumes Cup play this Sunday in Courtenay when they go up against the Kickers.