Oceanside’s ladies of soccer were in tough at Qualicum Beach Rec Fields Sunday as they battled a seasoned Nanaimo United side to a 1-1 draw.
“They’re a very athletic team — very fast,” coach Dan Mahony said, and confirmed the big reason they were able to secure the point was the play of veteran keeper Pam Richer who made four spectacular saves in the first half.
With seven new players, this is a much different Oceanside team than the one that won the Islands and made it to the B.C.s the last two years, as evident on Sunday.
“Nanaimo definitely carried the play — they’ve been together a long time and it shows,” said Mahony, adding, “our game was disjointed for us being we had nine subs, with seven of them new to the team this year. We didn’t have the rhythm, but this is part of the growing pains of a squad this large with this many new players.”
Pam, he agreed, “played great. She made some unbelievable saves in the first half to keep us in the game.”
Striker Sandy Morrison opened the scoring 32 minutes in when she was sent in alone off a pass from centre midfielder Christina Ciolfi.
Nanaimo continued to press and finally beat Richer, kind of, with about three minutes left in the game.
“It was a direct free kick that rebounded off (Pam) and deflected in off one of our players for an own goal,” said Mahony.
Sunday marked Oceanside’s third game of the season and puts them at 1-1-1 in the Mid Island Women’s Soccer League (MIWSL). OU lost their league opener 1-0 to the Campbell River MVP (who scored with a minute and a half left off a corner kick), then shelled the Outlaws from Courtenay 6-0 led by Angelina Gastaldello’s hat trick.
Oceanside United has a bye this weekend and returns to action Oct. 16 in Courtenay against the Kickers.