By Brandon Timko/whitecapsfc.com
Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Men defeated Athletic Club of BC 2-1 in their Pacific Coast Soccer League season opener on a rainy Tuesday evening at Simon Fraser University.
Two goals by Lucas Barrett gave Bart Choufour's side a fine start to their 2009 PCSL Premier Division campaign at SFU's Terry Fox Field. Venny Attwel scored a consolation goal for visiting ACBC.
Playing in a 4-5-1 formation, the Whitecaps had the first scoring chance of the match on four minutes when Joseph Martin’s cross found Cameron Parkes, but his low shot was well saved by ACBC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams.
On 38 minutes, the 'Caps brought on Ruben Casablanca to try and spark their attack. The substitute made his presence felt just three minutes later with a crisp through ball out wide to Parkes, who then sent a pass back to Casablanca. Despite being in a good goalscoring position, Casablanca could only see his shot sail over the crossbar.
After an even opening 45 minutes, both teams went into the halftime break level at 0-0.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring ten minutes after halftime, as Martin’s cross was headed home by Barrett to make it 1-0.
The lead lasted only two minutes, however, as ACBC captain Attwel pulled the visitors level with a close-range strike.
The Prospects nearly regained the lead on 68 minutes when substitute Bryan Cha’s corner was headed on target by Ashley Ankiewicz, but Williams was able to tip the ball over the ACBC crossbar.
With a little over 20 minutes left in the match, Choufour switched to a 4-4-2 formation, bringing Curtis Helm back on to partner Barrett in the Prospects' attack. The move paid off on 74 minutes when Helm sent Barrett in behind the ACBC defence. He calmly lobbed the ball into the far corner of the goal for a 2-1 lead.
The young 'Caps nearly let the win slip away on 89 minutes when a weak back pass forced goalkeeper Evan Lowther to rush out of his net before managing to clear the ball off an onrushing ACBC player. The visitors, however, were not able to take advantage of the deflected clearance.
Helm nearly doubled the lead for the home side in time added on when he found himself alone on goal after a poor back header towards Williams. However, the striker's shot went just wide of goal. The 'Caps did not need the extra goal, as they held on for a 2-1 victory. "I think the boys played well, as we were very good with the ball," Choufour told whitecapsfc.com after Tuesday’s win. "We had a couple scary moments there at the end, but otherwise, I think we controlled the game."
The Prospects Men return to PCSL Premier Division action on Saturday afternoon when they host Surrey United at SFU's Terry Fox Field. Kick off is at 2:30 p.m. PDT.
Whitecaps Prospects Men
Evan Lowther; Kyle Knees, Gavin Barrett, Ashley Ankiewicz, Adam Staschuk, Joseph Martin (Carlos Del Aguila), Harry Lakhan, Erik Hacker (Curtis Helm), Curtis Helm (Ruben Casablanca), Cameron Parkes (Bryan Cha), Lucas Barrett
Athletic Club of BC
Jan-Michael Williams; Jon Sotelo (Michael Wanyoike) (Justin Sidhu), Amir Amiry, Edmond Amadeo (Justin Cordick), Venny Attwel (John Githiga), Daniel Tshimba, Chris Kyd, Scott MacDonald, Demond Tachie, Andrew Sciampaconi (Kaz Pindral), Justin Cordick (Yukimi Kikuchi)