League1 BC Catch Up – Week 6: Stop Scoring On Your Own Net!
Dear reader, I have to be honest with you for a brief moment here. This recap is coming to you a bit later that I probably would have liked it to, but that is for two reasons.
Firstly, I have been feeling not the greatest this past week with what I think is a cold. But secondly, and most importantly, I have been in awe of the results from this week’s midweek matchup between Altitude and Nautsa’mawt – but we will get to that later.
This week’s results were really hard to do the power rankings for as each club had an up- and a downside to their performance during this week of matchups (especially with the around 3-4 own-goals score this week scored by various teams). But alas, there were absolutely winners and losers and so let’s discuss these matches!
8th – Rivers FC (0 +/-)
This week just wasn’t it for for Kamloops’ League1 side as they were the only club to drop all the points in their doubleheader against TSS Rovers. I wanted to rank them higher but someone has to be last and the fact that neither team was able to bring home a point against TSS sealed the deal in my eyes.
For the men, a left-footed strike by Alesandro Comita to capitalize on a Rovers defensive error would be dwarfed by a three-goal offensive effort by the Rovers, led by a brace by Erik Edwardson. The women, on the other hand, rallied back and forth with their Burnaby opponents. After going down 1-0, a Rovers own goal would give them life. This, followed by a mid-game push by Rivers – which included the above beautiful reception and header by Eli Ludo – would force their opponents in to an anxious state. Sadly it wouldn’t be enough as the Rivers girls would end up losing 5-4.
7th – Harbourside FC (0 +/-)
Harbourside provided Unity with a level of drama for their home opener, and I envy those who were in attendance as the disappointment from the first match and then experienced the ecstasy of the second match. which would have been exhilarating. Although neither of Harbourside’s squads moved up in their respective tables, the women from Nanaimo can take some solace in the knowledge that their win led to their opponents’ drop in the standings.
There is not much to say about Harbourside’s men’s performance. A 4-0 loss for the league’s 7th place team to a L1BC championship contender isn’t surprising. What is surprising is the fact that Harbourside were able to hold off Unity for the first 45 quite decisively; HFC keeper Cal Weir had his work cut out for him. But come the second half, it was all downhill from there and four conceded goals would turn this contest into a one-sided event in favour of the home side.
6th – Victoria Highlanders FC (-2)
The Highlanders’ two-place drop in these rankings honestly aren’t truly due to a massive drop in quality between last week and this week, it’s just that other teams played very well. The Highlanders’ women’s team is still searching for their first win of 2023 and only have three points in six games while the men, although dominating this season, only got their win due to an erroneous decision by WFC keeper Ben Alexander. The Highlanders men should not have been struggling that much with a mid-pack team as, although they danced around the Caps’ defence, their forwards could not convert their crosses into the box into goals.
The women have a lot to improve and that was no more evident than the failed clearance by Bella Lister which ended up in the back of the net. After letting in a second shot, this time a more worthy goal off the foot of Ashley Roberts, Lister would be eventually replaced at the half by Milena Ramirez who went on to concede the third goal of the game.
5th – Altitude FC (+1)
First win! First win!
Beyond for my fandom though, the North Shore outfit’s home-and-home series against the Juan De Fuca Plate-leading Nautsa’mawt FC had all the makings for four easy wins for the Point Grey side. Against all odds, not only did Altitude stave off defeat in two of those matches, one of them led to the men’s squad getting their first victory on the season, 3-1 – in front of a home crowd at Kinsmen Stadium no less!
The women pulled off a point as Allie Hughes-Goyette would get one back in the ’75 to even it up after an Natusa’mawt’s Kat Tolnai buried a beautifully fed ball. Their Wednesday match-up at home would be less ideal as two goals in the first instance of added time plus a third at the ’51 would seal the deal.
The men on the other hand gave the 2W-2D-2L Nautsa’mawt men’s side a run for their money. A back and forth battle on Saturday brought Altitude within an arms reach of their first win. Though that would come on Wednesday as two goals early on put Altitude up early. A ’66 minute goal by the visitors would cut that lead in half but it would be ended in the ’68 by an own goal to put Altitude up 3-1.
4th – Whitecaps Academy / WFC Elite (-1)
The Whitecaps dropping a place lies solely on a pair or performances this past week in which they seemed just not really into it. Yes, they won 3-1 over Victoria in the women’s match, but the goals they conceded – especially the one in the men’s game – both came from poor defending (or maybe impeccable attacking by Victoria, who knows). This is best shown by Mariel Solsberg’s goal where a through-ball easily allows her to split the WFC d-line on route to her second goal of the campaign
🥉 – Nautsa’mawt FC (-1)
Honestly, Nautsa’mawt shouldn’t have dropped points to Altitude and I am sure that the boys squad got an earful from Mike Mosher, especially with Altitude’s third goal coming from an NFC own-goal. The women were 15 minutes away from clinching their seventh win of the season yet this eighth-goal against on the season stole two points from the club’s undefeated season. What keep the club in the top three is the fact that they still hold a five-point lead over the WFC Elite in the women’s table remain with one game striking distance from first place in the men’s season.
🥈 – Unity FC (-1)
Both of Unity’s squads have proven to be quite solid so far this year and although the men continued their dominance with a 4-0 victory of Harbourside – one which included a Harbourside own goal – but for the women, it was another story. Not even 10 minutes in to the match and the visitors had a 2-0 lead over hosts Unity and maintained this lead until the ’63. This sudden late rally by the Langley outfit would be too little too late as they would be handed their first loss of the season and lose 2nd place in the table to the Whitecaps girls side.
Should Unity wish to remain in the playoff race with home advantage, they will need to dominate their matches against their weaker opponents, including, for the women’s squad, next week’s match versus the Highlanders.
🥇 – TSS Rovers FC (+4)
They won both of their matches, what else is there to say? Yes, they struggled a tad against the Rivers women’s squad in a game which should have been the Rovers’ for the taking, but they in the end they pulled out the victory. This now puts the Rovers in striking distance this weekend of one of the four coveted playoff spots should they pull off a win over Altitude on Sunday.
The men, on the other hand, have been looking stellar. Will Cromack’s squad stumbled coming out of the gates (except for their Voyageurs Cup-set over Valour) but have since returned to the exceptional form we expect from the club with such pedigree. The stars in the men’s roster have very much shown themselves and they include the likes of: vet and leader/captain Matteo Polisi, golden-boot frontrunner (and 2022 winner) Erik Edwardson, and utility playmaker and scorer Ivan Mejia. These three names have consistently shown themselves to be the backbone of this squad and Mejia’s goal and Edwardson’s brace over Rivers are direct proof of that, especially when Edwardson is scoring like this:
This upcoming week of matches is a bit more busy for all 8 sides including both the Highlanders and Unity who have two matches each across the province. With games only one game on Saturday (Rivers v Victoria), BC-based footy fans will be in store of a Sunday full of action as the Whitecaps host Point Grey rivals Nautsa’mawt, Unity brings the Highlanders to Chase Office Field, and as the Ironworker’s Derby takes place at Swangard Stadium between TSS and Altitude. A small interlude will precede Wednesday’s lone match of the Whitecaps taking on Unity at home.
Select games from this weekend will be streamed live on the League1 BC YouTube channel, including the Ironworker’s Derby of TSS and Altitude, while other select matches may be streamed or uploaded to watch On-Demand on YouTube.