Soggy United team gets eliminated
Nanaimo United’s cup run is over.
The city’s Div. 1 Vancouver Island Soccer League team was eliminated from the Jackson Cup playoffs following a 2-1 overtime loss to Sooke Celtic in Victoria on Friday.
The game was played on awful field conditions, with huge patches of standing water.
“It’s the same for both teams, but I think it affected our team more because of the style that we play,” said Bill Merriman, United coach.
Sooke opened the scoring in the first half on a goalmouth scramble.
"The ball was stuck in the mud there and everybody was trying to get it out and finally it went in the net instead of out. It looked more like a rugby game," Merriman said.
Chris Arnett replied for Nanaimo later in the half, converting a cross from Jared Stephens. United had the edge in play most of the night but didn't capitalize on any other chances and eventually Sooke got the winner late in overtime.
It was a disappointing result for United, which felt it was peaking for playoff time.
"Definitely, the way our team's been playing, we could have went quite a ways, I think," Merriman said. "We had very good games against all the teams once we started to roll and it was just unfortunate."
United still hopes to schedule two make-up games, both of which would be at home at Merle Logan Field, but nothing has been firmed up yet.
SOCCER TALK … United’s U21 men were eliminated from George Smith Cup play Saturday following a 4-0 loss to the Victoria Highlanders U21 team.