By Alan Douglas/whitecapsfc.com
Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Women took to the road this weekend for a Saturday evening match against Okanagan Whitecaps FC in Kelowna, BC, and romped to a 6-1 victory.
Vancouver scored all their goals in the first half, with fullback Nikki Ambrose setting the pace for the visitors with a pair at Beasley Park in nearby Winfield, BC.
Gurveen Clair returned to her starting spot between in Prospects goal, while Erin Uchacz stepped into central defence in place of Carolyn Bell. Katie Turney got her second straight start up front and played alongside Jenna Richardson and Jenna Di Nunzio in a 4-3-3 formation.
Vancouver went on the attack from the outset. Just three minutes in, Richardson broke in on a partial breakaway, but fired over the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Richardson got behind the Okanagan defence again after receiving a penetrating pass from Di Nunzio. This time she made no mistake, scoring her league-leading 17th goal of the season. The young striker is on pace to break the Pacific Coast Soccer League Women's Premier Division scoring record of 20 goals - a record that was established last season by Victoria Stars' Liz Hansen.
On 21 minutes, Natalie Boyd crossed the ball for Di Nunzio to head in her sixth goal of the season and make it 2-0, with the strike proving to be the match winner.
Five minutes after that, fullback Melissa Bowen on the right crossed to left fullback Ambrose in the Okanagan box, and she took a touch before firing in her first goal of the season for 3-0.
On 31 minutes, Richardson beat two players down the right before crossing to Ambrose, who had again moved up into scoring position. Ambrose volleyed home to make it 4-0.
Just a minute after that, Tessa Meyer won the ball at the top of the Okanagan box before burying a shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal for her third of the year, and a 5-0 lead.
The visiting Whitecaps rounded out the first-half scoring on 43 minutes, as Boyd lobbed a ball over the Okanagan back four for Nicole Setterlund. She chest controlled the ball before volleying her effort past goalkeeper Brittany Marier-Baumann. It was Setterlund's second goal of the campaign.
The Prospects led 6-0 at halftime.
The second half was less eventful, as Vancouver switched to a 3-4-3 formation, with Ambrose pushed into midfield. Though the visiting Whitecaps continued to apply pressure, little came of their efforts.
The home side netted a consolation goal on 62 minutes, as Ashley Davidson on the left cut the ball back for Paige Howes to fire home. That would prove to be the end of the scoring.
Ambrose came close to netting a hat-trick on 72 minutes, but she hit the post with her shot, with the match ending 6-1 to the Prospects.
The win raises Vancouver's record to 9W-1L-2D, as the Prospects temporarily move into first place, two points up on 9W-0L-0D Fraser Valley Action, who have three games in hand. Fraser Valley play a key match away to defending league champions Victoria on Sunday afternoon. Okanagan, meanwhile, drop to 2W-6L-1D.
The next match for the Prospects Women is Wednesday, July 1, in a 10:00 a.m. PDT Canada Day kickoff against NSGSC Eagles at North Vancouver's Sutherland Secondary.
Whitecaps Prospects Women
1.Gurveen Clair; 7.Melissa Bowen (14.Sarah Pennington 45'), 8.Erin Uchacz (2.Jessica Hadden 60'), Jennifer Castillo, 15.Nikki Ambrose; 12.Nicole Setterlund (6.Jaclyn Sawicki 45'), 4.Natalie Boyd, 19.Tessa Meyer (11.Kendra Williams 39'); 18.Katie Turney (3.Maryse Reichgeld 45'), 22.Jenna Richardson (20.Mikyla Kay 75'), 10.Jenna Di Nunzio (5.Alicia Tesan 60')