Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Women played to a 0-0 draw with Fraser Valley Action in Langley on Wednesday night in a battle for second place between two well-matched opponents.
The Action did everything right in this Pacific Coast Soccer League game, except get their shots on target, as they missed several glorious chances from in close. The Whitecaps, meanwhile, came the closest to breaking the deadlock, but were twice denied by the woodwork.
The pitch at the Trinity Western University campus is one of the best in Greater Vancouver, resulting in a fast-paced and well-played contest. The home side were the first to threaten, as Nikki Bryne was in a good position at the far post to receive a dangerous cross on six minutes, but she sliced her shot wide of the mark.
At the other end, Bryne was again in good position, as she headed off the line to save a certain goal from the Prospects' Tessa Meyer, who got a good header away off a corner kick.
On minute 19, Fraser Valley's tall striker Daniela Gerig turned and fired a hard shot that Whitecaps goalkeeper Shimone Slomowitz was at full stretch to claw out of the top corner.
The Whitecaps had the best chance of the game on minute 38, as Chelsea Buckland fired a loose ball off the underside of the crossbar following a dangerous corner kick from Lauren Hamson. Many Vancouver players had their arms in the air to celebrate, but the ball stayed out.
In first half injury time, Kristen Santema had a chance for Fraser Valley following a good run down the left by Bryne, but Santema put it wide from close range.
On minute 64, a long ball from Brienna Shaw sent Buckland in on a breakaway, but her hard high shot was pushed over the crossbar by the Action goalkeeper.
Moments later, Gerig did well at the other end to hold off her marker in the box, turn and pull the trigger, but she pulled her shot wide.
With eight minutes remaining, Alicia Tesan almost produced a winner out of nothing for Vancouver, as she spun and hit a thirty-yard shot that dipped over the keeper, but came back off the far post.
Despite some great runs up the middle by Meyer and some opportunistic shooting by Buckland in the closing stages, there would be no goals for the Whitecaps in this game.
The final opportunity fell to the home team. With a minute remaining, a good run from Angela Trauter down the left set up Gerig in front, but again the shot was wide, as the Whitecaps breathed a sigh of relief.
The tie keeps both teams in the running for second place, as the Prospects go to 8-3-2 while Fraser Valley are 9-3-2. Both teams will be watching the 5-2-3 Tri-Cities Xtreme, as they make up their games in hand. Victoria Stars, meanwhile, have clinched first place in the PCSL Premier Division with a record of 12-1-1 and will face Vancouver at Simon Fraser University on Sunday. First up for the Whitecaps is a rematch with NSGSC Eagles at SFU on Saturday, as the Prospects face a busy weekend of two league games at home.
Whitecaps Prospects Women - starting line-up v Fraser Valley Action
Shimone Slomowitz; Marika Posehn, Kelly Cook, Carolyn Bell, Brienna Shaw; Janine Frazao, Natalie Boyd, Tessa Meyer; Nikki Wright, Chelsea Buckland, Alicia Tesan