By Alan Douglas/whitecapsfc.com
Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Women scored five second-half goals to overpower Surrey United 6-1 at Cloverdale Athletic Park on Saturday afternoon.
Prospects striker Jenna Richardson recorded her second hat-trick in three games to move into the scoring lead in the Pacific Coast Soccer League with seven goals.
With high school graduation events taking place this weekend, a number of Whitecaps players were unavailable for this match. Kendra Williams got her first start of the season on the right side of midfield in a 4-3-3 formation, while right fullback Sarah Pennington also made the first XI for the first time. Another change at the back was Erin Uchacz coming in at centre back, and later in the match, taking an unaccustomed turn in midfield. As well, Ariel Anderson got her first start of the season in goal, though she was to be replaced by Gurveen Clair at halftime.
The Whitecaps twice hit the woodwork in the early going, with Richardson striking the crossbar in the second minute, while Alicia Tesan thudded one off the outside of the left post from a sharp angle on 11 minutes.
With Vancouver dominating the early play, it seemed an easy win would be in store against the league's last place team. Surrey United, though, had different ideas, and opened scoring on 15 minutes. Kristen Low's driven corner kick from the right swerved straight into the goal, then flew straight out again through a hole in the far side-netting, leaving many observers unaware that it was a goal.
The Prospects almost responded immediately, as Tessa Meyer's first touch left everyone standing, as she surged through a seam and into the heart of the United penalty area. She then rolled the ball wide of Surrey's onrushing keeper Jenine Staniscia, but also just wide of the post. Meyer had another good chance on 23 minutes, as she stabbed the ball at goal, but it was blocked on the goal line by a United defender.
The Whitecaps pressure finally paid off on 28 minutes. Richardson's ball into the box from the right found Williams right in front of goal, and while Staniscia stopped her first attempt, and the follow-up on the rebound, the third time was the charm for Williams, as she fired the loose ball home.
Surrey, though, were still very much in the game, and two minutes later, came close to regaining the lead in the same way they had initially gone in front. Off another corner from the right, Low showed her goal was no fluke, as she hooked an in-swinger over Anderson and on its way into goal, but Williams – who was at the far post - cleared the ball off the goal line.
It was 1-1 at halftime, with the Whitecaps in a much tougher game than they had bargained for. Surrey, though, were showing signs of fatigue, and did not have much in the way of options on the bench.
The Prospects came out quickly to start the second half, and scored after five minutes. Richardson received a great pass from Tesan to break in on goal, but was denied by Staniscia, who read the play well and sprawled to block the shot. However, Janine Frazao fed the ball straight back to Richardson, and her first-time shot caught the United keeper wrong-footed and slipped beneath her grasp for 2-1.
Staniscia was doing her best to keep her team in the game, and on 58 minutes, she made a great diving save off a first-time shot from Frazao. However, the keeper could do nothing to stop a highlight-reel goal from Richardson on the hour mark. Deep on the right, substitute Jaclyn Sawicki played it square to Richardson at the right edge of the six-yard box. She quickly turned and roofed the ball into the net with a wicked shot from a sharp angle to make it 3-1.
Three minutes later, Williams hooked a swerving 25-yarder off the inside of the left post, but the ball stayed out. However, it did not stay out for long. On 67 minutes, Clarissa Godoy Priske - in her first game of the season - played a sweet pass to Sawicki in the box before she slotted her shot past Staniscia for 4-1. Six minutes later, Priske again was the provider, as she played the ball into Richardson, who again found space to the right of the goal before rifling her effort inside the far post to complete her hat-trick and make it 5-1.
It was turning into a shooting gallery, but Surrey goalkeeper Staniscia continued to perform well. In a span of just a few minutes, she made three excellent saves, each one turning away a shot from Sawicki in the United box.
The final goal of the game was another pretty one. With two minutes remaining, Jessica Hadden went down the right flank before crossing to Priske, who adjusted well to the awkward height of the ball to volley neatly past Staniscia and make the final score 6-1.
The Whitecaps record improves to 4-1-1, keeping the team in third place in the PCSL Premier Division standings. They have no time to savour the victory, though, as they host Chilliwack FC at Simon Fraser University's Terry Fox Field on Sunday afternoon.
Whitecaps Prospects Women
0.Ariel Anderson (1.Gurveen Clair 45'); 14.Sarah Pennington, 8.Erin Uchacz, 16.Carolyn Bell, 7.Melissa Bowen (20.Mikyla Kay 26'); 19.Tessa Meyer, 11.Kendra Williams (3.Maryse Reichgeld 63'), 12.Nicole Setterlund (6.Jaclyn Sawicki 45'); 5.Alicia Tesan (13.Clarissa Godoy Priske 60'), 22.Jenna Richardson, 9.Janine Frazao (2.Jessica Hadden 73')