Soccer in a downpour

Oceanside team takes well-earned 2-1 win over Nanaimo

A rosy-cheecked Jacob Whittenberg smiles to teammate Ethan Smith after his first half goal in Sunday's win over Nanaimo in the cold and rain.

Oceanside’s lone U13 Boys side shook off the elements up at Arrowview Elementary School last Sunday and toughed out a well-earned 2-1 win over their counterparts from Nanaimo.

The win, played out in cold driving rain up at Arrowview Elementary, kept the team’s unbeaten streak alive and lifts them to five wins and two ties for top spot in their five-team Mid Island league.

Ethan Smith opened the scoring which is how it stood at the break. Nanaimo tied it up 1-1 early in the second half, and Jacob Whittenberg scored the winner with about 10 minutes remaining.

“It was terrible conditions,” Oceanside co-coach Al Berry said after the mud had settled. “Everybody was having a difficult time keeping warm but they all stuck it out,” he explained, adding that with only nine players, “we didn’t have any substitutes, so all the boys had to tough it out and play the whole game. I was impressed by the sportsmanship of the Nanaimo team — they had 11 players but they opted to play with 9 which they didn’t have to …”

The two teams met earlier this year in Nanaimo and played to a 3-3 tie with the full 11’s “and they just wanted to have another exciting game.”

Keeper Ethan Bridger earned the win in net.

Because it was so cold and the field was so wet “it was difficult to string together passes,” said Berry, adding when Nanaimo scored their goal “they continued to press and really had us hemmed in, but the boys persevered and won on home field.

“Honestly in my two years of coaching this team that was by far the hardest it’s rained and the worst conditions those boys have had to play in,” he said. “I was surprised the fields were even open, but they travelled all the way up to Parksville to play us, so we definitely wanted to give them a game.”

GAME ON:  Oceanside is back up at Arrowview against another Nanaimo team on Sunday.

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