Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Women returned to their winning ways on Saturday night after posting a convincing 4-1 victory away to Kelowna United in Winfield, BC.
With the mercury hitting 36 Celsius at kick-off, the Prospects knew they were in for a challenging evening. However, the team was buoyed by the return to the squad of midfield dynamo Natalie Boyd, who went on to play a part in three of the goals.
Boyd's influence was quickly felt, as just six minutes in, she slipped a through ball ahead to Sarah Fitzsimmons on the right, and she broke in to open the visitors' account at 1-0.
Three minutes later and it was more of the same, with Boyd again the provider, this time playing it ahead to Chelsea Buckland, who doubled Vancouver's lead.
The two quick goals had the home side reeling. And with the strong play of central midfielders Tessa Meyer and Natalie Boyd, the Whitecaps were in control of the match. When United did look threatening, the Prospects defence was on hand to clear the danger, with Melissa Bowen and Brienna Shaw standing out in particular.
The Whitecaps also got strong performances from the goalkeeping duo of Shimone Slomowitz and Ariel Anderson, who played a half each. Said coach Jesse Symons, "both Shimone and Ariel made one or two very good saves, and throughout the match were very steady distributing the ball, and keeping it out of the net."
The prettiest goal of the night came on minute 32, as Vancouver quickly moved the ball up field with a string of passes. It started with defender Carolyn Bell, who passed to Meyer, who in turn found Boyd. She played the ball to Buckland, who slipped it through to top-scorer Alicia Tesan, and she made no mistake in making it 3-0.
The home side got a goal back just past the hour mark, as Chantal McFetridge beat goalkeeper Ariel Anderson with a free kick. Coincidently, Kelowna native McFetridge is on the Whitecaps Girls U-18 travel squad roster, along with Anderson.
Vancouver restored their three-goal advantage soon after, as Michelle Godoy was taken down in the box, and a penalty kick awarded. Godoy took the spot kick herself, hitting the bottom left corner on minute 70 to close out the scoring at 4-1.
Vancouver's record improves to 7-3-1 in the Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier Division, while Kelowna fall to 2-6-1. The Prospects next match is Wednesday, July 2, at West Vancouver's picturesque Ambleside Park, as they take on the NSGSC Eagles.
Whitecaps Prospects Women - starting line-up v Kelowna United
Shimone Slomowitz; Melissa Bowen, Brienna Shaw, Carolyn Bell, Alanna Foster; Nikki Wright, Tessa Meyer, Natalie Boyd, Sarah Fitzsimmons; Alicia Tesan, Chelsea Buckland