Hermus heads in winner for Whitecaps

Ian Walker Canadian national team player Randee Hermus made the most of her cameo appearance with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC women's team by scoring the winning goal in a well-deserved 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Legends on Friday. Hermus's followup header off a left corner kick in the 54th minute snapped a 1-1 tie and lifted the Whitecaps women (1-0-1) to their first victory of the W-League Western Conference season in the opening match of a double-header at Swangard Stadium. Unfortunately for the crowd of 5,146 in attendance, the Whitecaps men failed to keep up their end of the twin bill, giving up a pair of goals in the opening seven minutes and fell 2-0 to the Seattle Sounders in the night's second game. Vancouver will look to rebound tonight in Portland against the Timbers. Hermus joined the Whitecaps women earlier this week to help fill the void created by the loss of three of the team's key players -- forward Jonelle Filigno, fellow striker Jodi-Ann Robinson and defender Emily Zurrer -- to Canada's senior women's team for its international friendly against Australia in Sydney. Strep throat prevented the 28-year-old Langley native from making the trip Down Under. She will rejoin the Canadian side upon their return this weekend. "It was a blessing in disguise," shrugged Hermus, who ranks third in all-time minutes played with Vancouver with 4,518 amassed over six seasons. "It's been about three years since I last suited up for the Whitecaps, so it was nice to make an impact." While the Whitecaps women looked nervous in last week's 2-2 tie with the Los Angeles Fusion, the youthful squad came out strong and created a number of excellent scoring opportunities throughout the game. Just as importantly, head coach Bob Birarda's squad showed maturity beyond their years after a miscommunication in the backfield led to the Legends' Sarah Yoro opening the scoring in the 38th minute. Whitecaps midfielder Selenia Iacchelli knotted the game one minute later. There would be no such rally for the Whitecaps men. Josh Gardiner's goal in the 3rd minute was all the defending champion Sounders needed as the Whitecaps' scoring woes continued. Vancouver (3-2-1) has found the back of the net just three goals through six games of the United Soccer Leagues First Division season. Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson made no excuses following the mostly one-sided affair. "They were much better than us at the start of the game," said Thordarson. "They are a very good side with very high quality players. All in all, especially in the beginning of the game, it was disappointing." Sebastian LeToux also scored for Seattle (3-1-3). © The Vancouver Sun 2008