League1 BC Catch Up – Week 2: Home Openers and High Scorers
Before I dive into this recap of League1 BC’s second weekend of action, I would like to provide some insight into the mind of a writer.
Some context: I have Twitter notifications on for all eight L1BC teams so I can stay up to date with them. The following video provides a pretty accurate summary of my thoughts as the notifications kept rolling in and pinging my phone.
Replace the word slices with goals and you’ll get the idea…
There was only one game out of ten played this entire weekend that featured no goals. Less so on the men’s side, but the women provided the crowd with plenty to cheer for or boo at, depending on who you support!
Across the five women’s division games, no less than 25 balls were buried into the back of the net. Twenty-five. Amongst these included a hat trick by Jenna Baxter in Nautsa’mawt FC’s home opener on Saturday against Harbourside, and another by the Whitecaps’ Anna Hauer on Sunday as VWFC girls took on Rivers.
The home-and-home between Nautsa’mawt and Harbourside saw the former team take both games. The home opener for Jesse Symons’ and Mike Mosher’s sides saw them snatch four of the six available points up for grabs on Saturday, with the men tying and women winning their games 0-0 and 7-1 respectively.
On Sunday, Harbourside’s men’s team would get the best of Nautsa’mawt as an overaggressive challenge by keeper Bennet McKay gave the referee no other choice than to point to the spot. A powerful mid left strike by Harbourside’s Suka Behery would be the deciding factor in the home team garnering their first ever win as a club.
The women, however, would fare much worse as an unfortunate showing on Saturday led to a demoralized Sunday performance with the Nanaimo outfit letting in eight goals and giving Nautsa’mawt another clean sheet.
The weekend would not treat Burnaby’s TSS Rovers any better than the previous one: the reigning L1BC champions were unable to find a way past the Victoria Highlanders’ Daniel Zadravec, all the while being bested by Anthony Preston, who’s 83rd minute tip-in following a chip by David Schaefer would seal the deal for the provincial capital’s club.
The women’s match ended up being a match of keepers as both Milena Ramirez of the Highlanders and Mae Hobenshield of the Rovers were stellar between their posts, each only allowing one goal and leaving the teams in a stalemate until the final whistle.
Rounding out the weekend on Sunday was Altitude FC’s long-awaited home opener which saw them take on Unity FC. Altitude went the extra mile to bring the big crowds to their home turf of Kinsmen Stadium this year with a custom-made ale by Whistler Brewing, while Kinsmen’s concessions stand (operated by the North Shore Baseball Assc.) provided the snacks to the over 500 fans who came out to cheer on the North Van side.
Altitude’s women’s squad would end up falling short in their bout against Unity. A goal early in the match by the visitors’ Sophie Crowther was followed by a second at the 38′ mark, putting Unity up by two at the half. Although Altitude would attempt a comeback with a goal early in the second half, it would not be enough in the end – and perhaps more painfully, a would-be equalizer would end up getting disallowed due to a late offside call.
The men’s match brought the heat as a testy affair would lead to three yellow cards being dished out to the hosts, and when all signs pointed to a nil-nil draw, converted penalties in the 87th for Unity and 95th for Altitude saw it end a 1-1 draw instead.
This Week in L1BC
Frankly, this coming weekend is one of the more quieter weekends in the League1 BC calendar with only three matches. Both the Victoria Highlanders and Unity FC get some much-deserved time off after a points-filled weekend for the two teams. The other six clubs, however, will be bringing plenty of action for footy fans across the province and Canada.
Altitude will be travelling to Point Gray to take on the Whitecaps with both the men’s and women’s teams. A win for North Van would shoot the men into the top four of the league, while the women will be going up against an extremely powerful Whitecaps Girls Elite squad who have a knack for repeatedly finding the back of the net.
The L1BC Featured Match of the week has fans on Youtube and Telus Optik driving up Highway 5 into Kamloops as Rivers will be hosting Nautsa’mawt. Rivers’ winless women’s team will be trying to hold back an undefeated Nautsa’mawt, while a win by three or more goals for Nautsa’mawt’s men would shoot them into first place.
However, the big one to watch will be Harbourside at TSS Rovers. Going into Saturday’s game, the home side will be returning from their Voyageurs Cup match-up vs the CanPL’s Pacific FC. While the Rovers have a lot to celebrate having even made it this far in the Championship, the result from Wednesday’s game may impact their play on the weekend. The men have been struggling in league play so far, so a good result against Pacific could turn it around for them.
This coming weekend will see games start at 6PM Pacific (9PM Eastern) on Friday from Ken Woods Field. It then continues on Saturday with both matches being streamed live on the L1BC Youtube channel as TSS hosts Harbourside starting at 1:30PM Pacific (4:30PM Eastern) followed by the featured match, Rivers FC vs Nautsa’mawt FC, kicking off at 2PM Pacific (5PM Eastern)!