By Alan Douglas/whitecapsfc.com
Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Women extended their win streak in the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) to eight matches with a narrow 1-0 away victory to Coquitlam Metro-Ford Xtreme at Dr. Charles Best Secondary on Thursday night. Jaclyn Sawicki scored the game's only goal in the first half.
The Xtreme have long been a rival of the Whitecaps, but this season have had their problems, and came into the match with only one win in six outings. However, they were clearly up for this contest and made an early statement 11 minutes in, as Lauren Lachlan cracked a shot off the post.
Not to be outdone, just three minutes later, Vancouver's Jenna Richardson sent a header off the Coquitlam crossbar. Five minutes later, Jenna Di Nunzio snuck between two defenders to stab a crossed ball on net from close range, but it went right at the goalkeeper, who parried it.
Just before the half-hour mark, Taylor Shannik slipped a great ball down the right for Katie Turney to run onto, and her hard shot was well stopped by the keeper.
The Prospects got the goal they were looking for on 31 minutes. Nikki Wright played it ahead for Sawicki, who was breaking into the box. She blasted it home with conviction for her fifth of the season.
The home side kept plugging away though, and always looked dangerous on the attack. During time added on at the end of the first half, Michelle Francis broke in alone on the left, but goalkeeper Ally Williamson came up big, blocking the shot with her legs to preserve the 1-0 lead at the break.
Vancouver continued to carry play after the restart, but could not find an insurance goal. Richardson did put the ball in the net on 50 minutes, but it was waved off on a questionable offside decision.
Coquitlam substitute keeper Cassie Newbrook also produced a string of big saves early in the second half to keep the home side in it. At the other end, Williamson made the grab on a hard blast by Ari Adams, who showed great perseverance to keep possession and make space to shoot.
Shannik almost scored after winning the ball in the Xtreme box on 67 minutes, but rolled it wide with the keeper beaten.
The final chance fells to the Whitecaps in the closing minutes. Newbrook tipped over a good header from Di Nunzio and then denied a blast from Richardson, who caught the defence napping on a short corner before breaking in from the right wing at pace.
The Prospects remain in top spot in the PCSL Premier Division standings with a record of 8W-0L-0D, while the Xtreme drop to 1W-5L-1D. The Whitecaps next league match takes them to Chilliwack's Townsend Park to face Chilliwack FC on Saturday, June 19, at 2 p.m. PT.
31' - VAN - Jaclyn Sawicki
Whitecaps Prospects Women
2.Ally Williamson; 3.Nikki Ambrose, 7.Erin Uchacz (9.Tori Uhl 45'), 5.Jennifer Castillo; 12.Jenna Di Nunzio (22.Jenna Richardson 45'), 19.Tessa Meyer (7.Erin Uchacz 86'), 11.Kendra Williams (10.Sydney Morrison 26'), 18.Katie Turney; 41.Nikki Wright (11.Kendra Williams 63'), 14.Jaclyn Sawicki (12.Jenna Di Nunzio 86'), 22.Jenna Richardson (15.Taylor Shannik 26')