The beautiful game is back up and running, and the teams of Oceanside Youth Soccer are shaking off the rust in a hurry.
In U18 Girls action, Oceanside 1 kick started its season down at QB Rec Fields under ideal conditions last Sunday with a spirited 4-1 win over Nanaimo.
Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Hebert staked the locals to a 1-nil lead off a crossing play about 25 minutes in, and Nanaimo tied it 1-1 off a penalty kick just before the break. The locals found another gear in the second half. Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Hopkins scored back-to-back goals, both of them breakaways off crisp through-passes — “both in the corner, both nice shots.”
Hard-charging mid-fielder Alexa ‘Lexy’ Berg, one of five first year U18’s on the team, rounded out the scoring with a hard shot top left corner for her first of the season from just outside the 18 yard box — just reward for a strong game.
“She played well — she definitely had lots of enthusiasm, she had some good jump and forced (the play),” said Mike Watson, who also had props for the play of Kelsey Mjaaland at the striker position, “and our defence. Our defence played really well — as usual.”
Emily Towers was solid in her return as keeper.
“It was good… it was (our team’s) first game so they were a bit out of shape… they got their legs as the game went on.”
As for this, his third “and last” year coaching U18 Girls house soccer, Watson said he’s “really looking forward to the season. It looks like a real strong team and a nice mix of rookies and seniors, a real good bunch, and I think they’ll have a strong showing.”
The U18 Girls are part of a nine-team league that includes a second local side (Oceanside 2), with the remaining teams from Nanaimo/Ladysmith.
Oceanside’s two U18 Girls teams square off at QB Rec Fields for a leaguer at 10 a.m. Sunday.