Oceanside United opened the second half of its MIWSL season with a solid 2-0 road win over Nanaimo United on Sunday.
“They’ve been together a long time as a team and are just a really good side,” OU coach Dan Mahony said after the game, adding “they’re all skilled players in great shape and they can run very fast. They put a lot of pressure on us — more pressure then any other team.”
Nanaimo, he said, only brought 11 players to the match “but they had more of the play then we did, they move extremely well off the ball and they pressure exceedingly well.”
Oceanside weathered the storm in the first half and the two teams were deadlocked in a scoreless tie at the half.
Nanaimo pressed but came up empty and Oceanside opened the scoring at the 60 minute mark when right inside halfback Rebecca Collins passed to her sister Natasha who ripped a hard shot on the keeper, and Sandy Morrison buried the rebound.
Shortly after that an Oceanside striker was taken down roughly in the box and they were awarded a penalty shot.
“We shot wide much to my chagrin,” chuckled Mahony, adding “the contest being as tight as it was I’m pretty sure I gasped.”
OU iced the win at about the 72 minute mark when Christina Ciolfi sent in Angelina Casteledaleo, who had to fend off a strong Nanaimo sweeper on her back; the Nanaimo keeper came out and challenged, Angelina pounded a shot off the far post, then ran in and buried her own rebound.
“It was a highly intense game,” said Mahony.
Nanaimo was awarded a penalty shot in the dying minutes but veteran OU keeper Pam Richer shut the door.
“Great save to preserve the two goal advantage — she dove to her right.”
“I’m pleased with the effort and result — throughout the game Nanaimo was able to bend our back line, but they never broke them — but not having played in seven weeks our play was very disjointed, and I’m expecting we’ll play better next week when they take on Port Alberni, another very skilled side, very difficult to play against.”
Sunday’s win, coupled with the W they were awarded just before the Christmas break to mark the start of the MIWSL’s second season, puts OU at 2-0 and in the drivers seat for another berth in the BC’s.
Most of the Nanaimo team he adds have competed in the World’s as O35s and are going back again this year.
“They live and die soccer that core group of about 11 of them,” said Mahony, adding “they have been together for a long time, and they’re fun to watch, but Oceanside Untied continues to battle hard no matter whom the opponent is.”
GAME ON: Oceanside United is back home at QB Rec Fields Sunday at high noon for a showdown against Por