Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Women turned in an illuminating performance, winning 5-1 over NSGSC Eagles on a Wednesday night in which the floodlights failed turn on at West Vancouver's Ambleside Park.
Playing against North Shore Girls SC, the Prospects added a couple of notable North Shore players themselves, with Whitecaps first-team members Rosalyn Hicks and Kirsteen Buchan returning to the starting eleven.
The Prospects had the first good chance, as a quarter hour in. Buchan did well to head the ball on to Chelsea Buckland, who was on in goal. Unfortunately, her shot went straight into the feet of the goalkeeper, who came out to challenge.
Moments later, the Eagles hit back on the counter-attack, beating the offside trap, as they broke down the left before crossing for Maggie Soares, but her shot at a half-empty goal was blocked by a defender. The rebound fell to Kala Renard, who fired it over the crossbar.
On 23 minutes, the Whitecaps opened scoring, as Natalie Boyd did well to win the ball, which ricocheted ahead to Buckland. She broke in and finished nicely, to maintain her goal-a-game pace since joining the team in mid-season.
Three minutes later, Vancouver doubled the lead. Boyd's long-range shot was fumbled by the North Shore goalkeeper, and Kirsteen Buchan was right there to put it away.
The Whitecaps continued to produce chances. A few minutes further on, Lauren Hamson broke in alone, but the North Shore goalkeeper pushed her shot over the crossbar.
Later in the half, Buchan on the left sent a great cross to Hicks at the far post, but she somehow nodded it wide. Moments later, a superb ball from Boyd freed up Buchan on the left. From a sharp angle, she brilliantly chipped the keeper, but only for a North Shore defender to head it off the line.
Then in injury time, the ball was again cleared off the line, this time following a Buckland header off a Whitecaps corner kick. The rebound went to Hicks, who alertly squared it for Tessa Meyer to shoot first-time, but the Eagles keeper made the save.
It was 2-0 at halftime.
With the lights not working, and daylight fading, the teams took an abbreviated break, with the Whitecaps then pretty much picking up where they left off.
On minute 56, perpetual motion machine Boyd set up her third goal of the night, playing a good ball to Buchan, who found a seam and finished well to make it 3-0.
Minutes later, Boyd almost did it again, this time sending Michelle Godoy in alone, but her shot clipped the goalkeeper's trailing foot and skipped wide.
The home side pulled a goal back on minute 67, as Anna Laue hammered a first-time volley past Prospects goalkeeper Ariel Anderson, who had come on at halftime for Shimone Slomowitz.
Another halftime substitute was striker Godoy, who had numerous chances to score, and made good on one of them on minute 73. Lauren Hamson on the right played a nice diagonal ball, which Godoy blasted home.
Ten minutes later, Godoy was the recipient of another great bit of service, as Hicks sent her on a clear breakaway. The Eagles goalkeeper, however, produced another fine save.
If the Prospects have a secret weapon, it is young goalkeeper Anderson, as she has a knack for catching opposing defenders flat-footed with her booming kicks.
On minute 88, with the game now being played in twilight, Anderson launched a ballistic punt downfield, which the speedy Alicia Tesan raced on to. The opposing keeper came out, but Tesan beat her to the ball and expertly chipped it high over the keeper and into the net to make the final score 5-1.
The Prospects improve their record to 8-3-1 in the Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier Division, while NSGSC Eagles drop to 3-8-1. Next up for the young Whitecaps is a trip to Trinity Western University on Wednesday, July 9, to face the 7-3-1 Fraser Valley Action. North Shore, meanwhile, will host Kelowna United in PCSL action on Saturday.
Whitecaps Prospects Women - starting line-up v NSGSC Eagles
Shimone Slomowitz; Melissa Bowen, Brienna Shaw, Carolyn Bell, Nikki Wright; Tessa Meyer, Natalie Boyd, Rosalyn Hick, Lauren Hamson; Chelsea Buckland, Kirsteen Buchan