Prospects Men end season on a high
Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Men completed their Pacific Coast Soccer League season with an admirable and entertaining 5-4 victory over league leaders Victoria United at Simon Fraser University on Sunday afternoon.
After a convincing 7-1 home win over Okanagan Challenge the day before, Bart Choufour's young side were looking to get more points from their last Premier Division game of the season against the defending PCSL champions, and they were successful in handing the Vancouver Island outfit just their second defeat of the season.
Even though the Whitecaps started brightly by creating some chances, it was the visitors that scored first. Prospects goalkeeper Coady Nett made the initial save off a United breakaway, but the rebound was headed home by Victoria's Greg Fiddick for 1-0.
On 30 minutes, the visitors doubled their lead when Steve Scott headed in from a United corner kick.
The Whitecaps got themselves back into the game when a great individual action by Milad Mehrabi and a beautiful lofted chip made it 2-1 just before halftime.
It was clear that there was an opportunity for the young Whitecaps to get points out of Sunday's game, and at the halftime break, it was emphasized by head coach Choufour that the home side would be successful if they increased the tempo of the game, and show more aggression in the challenge.
The second half was an exciting affair, with Ben Leggett headed in Flo Liu's corner to level matters at 2-2 after 53 minutes.
Five minutes later, Gavin Barrett continued his productive weekend by putting the 'Caps ahead. A quick counter combination with Lawrence Buchan and Max Maund put Barrett in front of the Victoria goalkeeper, where he finished with ease for 3-2.
With 25 minutes to go, the Prospects thought they had won the game, but a resilient United team came back with two goals by Scott and Patrick Gawrys to retake the lead at 4-3.
On this day, however, the Whitecaps were not to be denied, as they were keen to finish their PCSL season on a positive note.
First, it was the post that denied Mehrabi the equalizing goal, but a few minutes later, Barrett was on hand to draw the 'Caps level at 4-4.
With seven minutes remaining, Ian Clark scored Vancouver's fifth goal and the game winner. Adrian Bears flicked Liu's throw-in to Clark, who in turn, headed the ball over the United keeper to complete a remarkable 5-4 result.
With a end-of-season record of four wins, 11 defeats, and three draws, the Prospects Men climbed off the bottom of the PCSL Premier Division standings to finish in ninth place. Victoria, meanwhile, finished top of the table with a 13-2-3 record, with United now looking to defend the Sheila Anderson Memorial Challenge Cup title of last year in Surrey, BC, next weekend.
Whitecaps Prospects Men - line-up v Victoria United
Coady Nett (Matt Robinson 45'); Ashley Ankiewicz (Harry Lakhan 28'), Ben Hemphill, Ben Leggett, Flo Liu; Lawrence Buchan, Riley Newport, Milad Mehrabi, Thomas Mallette (Ian Clark 45'); Max Maund (Adrian Bears 68'), Gavin Barrett
Subs not used: Branden McLean