By Alan Douglas/whitecapsfc.com
Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Women gave up two early goals to Surrey United before storming back to win 5-2 at Simon Fraser University on Thursday night.
Janine Frazao scored twice to level the score, while Jenna Richardson also netted a brace, including the match winner in their latest Pacific Coast Soccer League encounter. Richardson has scored at least two goals in each of her last four games, with the 16-year-old raising her league-leading total to 15 - already a Whitecaps record.
Three first-team players were added to the Prospects line-up at SFU's Terry Fox Field, which resulted in wholesale changes at the back. Veteran Gillian Hicks, as well as 2008 Prospects standout Brienna Shaw, joined Carolyn Bell in the backline of a 3-4-3 formation. Thursday's match also afforded a first look at new first-team addition Devon Wharf in goal.
Maryse Reichgeld and Melissa Bowen got the assignments on the flanks, while midfielder Tessa Meyer started the game on the bench for the first time this season, with Jaclyn Sawicki getting the nod in her place. Up front was the quicksilver trio of Frazao, Richardson, and Alicia Tesan. As well, numerous players were rested in this one, in advance of league games on Saturday and Sunday.
The first chance fell to Vancouver, as six minutes in, Sawicki hit the post after pouncing on a loose ball in the box, with Richardson then hitting the rebound over the crossbar.
In the previous meeting between these teams, Surrey proved to be exceptionally dangerous on corner kicks. That trend continued in this game, as winless United scored two early goals off corners to take a shock 2-0 lead. All the changes at the back for Vancouver did not seem to help much, as poor marking allowed Kuljeet Gill to rap in a loose ball on a scramble on eight minutes, and then saw Annalise Post do the same on 14 minutes.
On 17 minutes, Sawicki came close again, as her shot from the top of the area was palmed over the crossbar by United goalkeeper Yvonne Riopel. Sawicki curled another shot just wide on 23 minutes, then seconds later, was subbed off by coach Jesse Symons in a tactical switch to bring on Tessa Meyer.
Surrey were battling hard, and doing a good job of denying the Prospects players space. However, despite the scoreline, the Whitecaps continued to confidently go about their business, controlling play and creating several decent chances, but failing to put them on target.
Finally on 42 minutes, Frazao got the ball in the United box on the left and rifled it past the Surrey goalkeeper to cut the deficit in half.
At the other end, Wharf was showing some jitters and was not helped by having the setting sun in her eyes. On 44 minutes, she seemed handcuffed by a low shot, and gave up a big rebound. The follow-up shot from the edge of the area almost looped over her, as she struggled to tip it against the crossbar. The final shot from Surrey then went wide. Moments later, Wharf came out to challenge for a loose ball, but it got by her, causing some anxious moments before the Whitecaps defence was able to clear.
It was 2-1 at the break, and still anyone's match. The second half changed that though, as Vancouver took over. And while it was not exactly a shooting gallery, the Whitecaps made good on the majority of their chances.
On 51 minutes, Tesan made space for a shot, but Riopel made a good fingertip save to push it over her crossbar. Then three minutes later, Frazao got the ball on the right, and ripped a shot to the top corner to make 2-2. It was her sixth goal of the season.
A minute later, Richardson continued her torrid scoring pace, as she netted the winner in a scramble following a corner kick. It was not one of her typical thunderbolt strikes, as she just barely got enough of the ball to roll it over the goalline from a yard out, but they all count.
On 71 minutes, Tesan scored her first goal of the season, as she dribbled around her marker in the United box before rifling it home. Tesan was the team's joint top goalscorer last season with 11, but has struggled to find the net this season.
Richardson then rounded out the scoring at 82 minutes, as she buried her own rebound after Riopel made a good diving save on the first effort. Richardson had a couple of chances for a hat-trick, but the best opportunity in the closing stages was a rising shot from Tesan, which Riopel touched over the crossbar.
5-2 was the final score, as the Whitecaps raise their record to 7W-1L-1D to stay in third place. Surrey drop to 0W-7L-1D.
Next up for the Prospects Women are back-to-back games this weekend against CMFSC Xtreme. The first match goes Saturday night at Coquitlam Town Centre East Turf at 7:30 p.m. PDT, with the return match going Sunday afternoon at Simon Fraser University Field #4. Kick off is at 3:00 p.m. PDT.
Whitecaps Prospects Women
00.Devon Wharf; 15.Brienna Shaw, 16.Carolyn Bell, 32.Gillian Hicks; 3.Maryse Reichgeld (12.Nicole Setterlund 41'), 4.Natalie Boyd (11.Kendra William 74'), 6.Jaclyn Sawicki (19.Tessa Meyer 23'), 7.Melissa Bowen; 9.Janine Frazao (Jessica Hadden 77'), 22.Jenna Richardson, 5.Alicia Tesan