Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Women rattled off their fourth straight PCSL victory by defeating hosts Surrey United 1-0 at Cloverdale Athletic Park on Wednesday evening.
Forward Sarah Fitzsimmons netted the game's only goal shortly after subbing on at halftime, with fellow frontrunner Nikki Wright doing most of the legwork on the play.
It was a highly competitive match, with both teams giving as good as they got. The Whitecaps carved out the majority of the first-half scoring chances, starting on 21 minutes, as Wright got on the end of a Carolyn Bell free kick, but her first-time shot went straight at the United goalkeeper Theresa Nuttall.
On 29 minutes, speedy forward Alicia Tesan turned on the jets to break in alone, but Nuttall came out quickly to block the shot. Two minutes later, Nuttall again made a big save for the home side, diving to grab a free kick from Whitecaps forward Lauren Hamson.
At the other end, Surrey caused a couple of major scares. On minute 33, Ally Benes broke in, but rolled her shot just wide, with the ball grazing the outside of the far post. That same post came into play again three minutes before the break, as a quick 30-yard volley from Kate Qually rang off the right upright.
It was scoreless at halftime.
United had a good chance at the start of the second half, as a high curling corner kick from Qually on the left was palmed off the line by Prospects goalkeeper Shimone Slomowitz.
The Whitecaps netted the only goal they would need soon after. On minute 53, Wright picked up the ball in midfield and went on a great run, showing tremendous pace and strength to carry the ball into the box and get a shot off. Goalkeeper Nuttall sprawled to block the effort, but the ball rebounded to Fitzsimmons at the edge of the area, and she kept her cool to fire Vancouver into the lead.
Tessa Meyer had a chance to make it 2-0 minutes later, but her quick shot from the edge of the United box was save by Nuttall.
Surrey continued to be very dangerous on corners. On minute 61, Caitlin Davies from the right fired in a cross that went across the face of goal and was cleared off the line by a Whitecaps defender at the far post. Ten minutes later, Benes had Surrey's last good chance of the game, as she got her head to a dropping ball in front of goal, but directed it wide of the mark.
While United showed good intensity in searching for an equalizer, the Whitecaps held firm with solid defending and intelligent play all around to ensure the win and a clean sheet for Slomowitz.
The victory sees Vancouver's record improve to 4-1-0, as the Whitecaps move into sole possession of second place in the PCSL Premier Division standings. Defeat for Surrey drops them to 1-3-0.
The Prospects' next game is Sunday, June 8, when they host the 1-2-1 PSSA Rapids at Simon Fraser University's Fox Field.
Whitecaps Prospects Women - starting line-up v Surrey United
Shimone Slomowitz; Melissa Bowen, Brienna Shaw, Carolyn Bell, Alanna Foster; Tessa Meyer, Natalie Boyd, Janine Frazao; Alicia Tesan, Lauren Hamson, Nikki Wright