Rapids too much for Prospects


Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Men saw their undefeated run end at two games following a 4-1 setback at home to PSSA Rapids on Sunday.

On a bright and sunny weekend afternoon at Simon Fraser University's Terry Fox Field, Bart Choufour's side looked to claim some more Pacific Coast Soccer League points against their visitors from Bellingham, Washington.

With Whitecaps Residency striker Marcus Johnstone in the Prospects' starting XI, it was the Edmonton, Alberta, native who had the first chance of the game, but Rapids goalkeeper Eric Kodama was equal to his strike from the edge of the box. The young Whitecaps went even closer moments later, as Ben Hemphill struck the far post with a close-range shot.

The Rapids' early forays forward were hampered by a number of offside decisions called against them, though Scott Swanson would give his side some hope after forcing Prospects goelkeeper Michael Branion-Calles into a fine save with his shot on target.

The Whitecaps then took the lead through a fine right-foot finish from Johnstone, as he struck the top corner of the Rapids goal from the edge of the box.

Vancouver's advantage did not last long, however, as Jason Jorgensen scored the first of his three headed goals on the day after converting Oscar Jiminez's cross from the right for 1-1.

Chances were traded at both ends before halftime, with Whitecaps right fullback Flo Liu striking a free-kick effort at Kodama before Branion-Calles stopped Swanson's header from Jorgensen's cross.

The second half started brightly, with Mason Trafford curling a shot at Kodama on 51 minutes before Branion-Calles saved well at the other end from the dangerous Jorgensen five minutes later.

The PSSA frontman would not denied his second goal, however, as Jorgensen got his head to Swanson's cross from the left to make it 2-1 on 58 minutes.

Trafford tried to make amends for the home side, but Kodama was able to stop his free-kick strike shortly after the hour mark, while both Swanson and Jorgensen missed the target in the later stages of the half for the Rapids.

Any hopes of a Prospects comeback ended on 79 minutes, as Jorgensen headed home at close range for 3-1.

The Whitecaps final opportunity to score came on 83 minutes, as Gavin Barrett flashed his finely-struck volley wide of goal from substitute Lawrence Buchan's corner.

Two minutes later, PSSA wrapped up a comfortable 4-1 win when substitute Shogo Kurihara slotted home on the rebound after Branion-Calles had initially stopped Nick Saletto's shot in the Whitecaps box.

Choufour felt the game might have had a different outcome, had early chances been taken by his young side. "We just didn't have the energy in the second half, which was disappointing," he told whitecapsfc.com. "They had played yesterday, and I felt that if we put some pressure on them, that we would take over. Yet, it seemed to be just the opposite. I think the missed chances in the beginning of the game came back to haunt us. If you get up early, then it's a different game."

The Prospects Men will look to bounce back at SFU on Thursday night, as they host Vancouver Thunderbirds in their next PCSL Premier Division game. PSSA Rapids, meanwhile, travel to Washington State rivals Seattle Wolves on Wednesday night for their next contest.


Whitecaps Prospects Men - line-up v PSSA Rapids

Michael Branion-Calles; Flo Liu (Rhys Volkenant), Ben Leggett, Branden McLean, Ashley Ankiewicz (Lawrence Buchan); Mason Trafford, Milad Mehrabi, Ben Hemphill (Ashley Ankiewicz), Adrian Bears (Nat Blaiklock, Brayden Gant); Marcus Johnstone, Gavin Barrett