Oceanside United come together for big win
“The only good thing about the game was the final score.”
Oceanside United had to turn it around Sunday to beat the Outlaws 3-0 in Women’s Provincial Cup playdown action, but coach Dan Mahony joked he’s not sure how much more of that he can take.
In action down at Qualicum Beach Rec fields Sunday against a scrappy Campbell River side, Oceanside’s ladies of soccer were out of sync to start.
“The first half was extremely disjointed and individualistic in play — certainly a sub par performance from the team,” Mahony said Monday, pointing out that illness, nagging injuries and a multitude of commitments the past few weeks have resulted in very few players at team practice.
“Which has really effected our ability to practice as a team.”
Tied nil-nil at the half, Mahony said he talked to his squad at the break, “but the girls realized that they were not playing up to the standard in which they usually perform, and they themselves decided to step it up in the second half, and they did.”
The Outlaws were playing a flat defence in the first half, prompting Mahony to move speedy midfielder Andrea England up to striker position.
The move paid off, as she scored the first two goals of the game — 10 minutes in and again 10 minutes later — both off breakaways.
Jessica Freeman nailed down the win at the 77 minute mark when she drove home a hard pass from Sue Maltby.
Longtime OU keeper Pam Richer recorded her third consecutive shutout.
“Once again she rose to the occasion when she had to,” Mahony said of Richer. “She kept us in the game in the first half in particular.”
Sunday marked OU’s third straight Provincial Cup round robin playdown win, and has them tied for top spot in the standings at 3-0 with the Courtenay Legends and Campbell River’s MVP.
Against the Outlaws, who have one of the top strikers in the league, Mahony rotated three players in an out to mark her out of the game: Shanna Nickolet, Crissy Klemencic and Katie Flowerdew.
“They did their job; they did an excellent job on her,” said Mahony.
Making her return to the lineup for the first time in almost a year because of maternity leave was former captain Erica Dragani.
Oceanside United resumes Provincial Cup play this Sunday in Campbell River against the Bandits and return home the following week (Feb. 20) agains the Masters from Courtenay.