Nanaimo United player Drew Murray

Nanaimo United player Drew Murray

Playdowns begin, United wins

Nanaimo United’s Div. 1 women’s side started B.C. Soccer B Cup playdowns with a victory.

Even though they were trailing at halftime in a playoff game, they knew they were on the right track.

Nanaimo United’s Div. 1 women’s side started B.C. Soccer B Cup playdowns with a victory, coming back to beat the Campbell River Cermaq Outlaws 4-1 on Sunday at Merle Logan Field.

Daragh Fitzgerald, co-coach along with Paddy Greig, said the team played fantastic.

Though the Outlaws scored the only goal of the first half on a free kick, United spent most of the half in the visitors’ end.

“Myself and Paddy were saying to them at halftime to change absolutely nothing, because they were knocking it around well, they were dominating the ball, they were dominating physically, they were dominating everything and the only thing that was missing was a couple of goals, which duly arrived in the second half,” Fitzgerald said.

Rachel Jones tied the match when she headed in an Alli Bach corner kick. Bach then gave her team the lead, scoring top corner from the edge of the box, Jones added another, then Martyne Kolich rounded out the scoring. Katherine Ross was the winning goalkeeper.

Fitzgerald said the mindset going into the match was a little different.

“It was unique in the fact that it was provincials, so you had that extra pressure, and we had never played a team from the upper Island league before,” he said.

The win advances Nanaimo to the B.C. quarterfinals, where it will face the Saanich Fusion on the road next Sunday (May 1).

Elsewhere in provincial cup playdowns, the Nanaimo United Div. 1 men defeated Saanich 4-3 on the road Saturday. The United men will play Surrey’s Pegasus FC in the premier A cup quarterfinals next weekend; scheduling is yet to be determined.

The U21 Mid-Isle Mariners are also through to the quarterfinals via a bye. Their next match hadn’t been scheduled at press time.