By Brandon Timko/whitecapsfc.com
Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Men began a two-match road swing through the British Columbia Interior with a 2-1 defeat at Kamloops Excel in Pacific Coast Soccer League action on Saturday evening.
Connor Doherty scored an early goal for the home side, while Stu Jameson struck the winner in the second half. The Whitecaps, meanwhile, scored a consolation goal through newcomer Denny Serifovic.
The Prospects started strong on a windy evening at Hillside Stadium on the campus of Thompson Rivers University. The first chance came on four minutes when Bryan Cha sent Lucas Barrett in on goal, but only to have his hard strike well saved by the Excel goalkeeper.
Kamloops, however, opened the scoring moments later on a quick counter-attack. Doherty fired a shot past ‘Caps goalkeeper Evan Lowther to give his team a 1-0 lead, despite appeals for an offside decision from the visitors.
The match then changed on 15 minutes when a scrap broke out near the Excel goal and resulted in a red card to Lucas Barrett. A Kamloops player also received a red card on the play, leaving each side with 10 men on the pitch.
The 'Caps were nearly dealt another blow on 35 minutes when Curtis Helm was controversially called for a handball, which gave Kamloops a penalty. Luckily for the Prospects, Lowther came up with a great diving save to keep his team within a single goal.
After being outplayed for much of the first half, Kamloops looked to respond early in the second half. They nearly doubled their lead on 48 minutes, but were denied by a clearance from Kyle Knees.
The Prospects regained control of the match, with Ankiewicz again denied on a pair of headers. The missed opportunities could come back to haunt Bart Choufour’s squad on 67 minutes, as another Kamloops counter-attack was finished by Jameson for a 2-0 Excel lead.
Undeterred, the Prospects kept up the pressure and responded five minutes later. The ball was cycled through midfield before Cameron Parkes sent a ball into Helm, who then fed Serifovic. The striker made a run down the left flank before cutting into the Kamloops box and curling a shot into the far corner to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Prospects them thought they should have received a late opportunity to earn a draw when Parkes was brought down in the Excel box with two minutes remaining. However, the referee's decision did not go the visitors' way, as the match ended 2-1 in favour of Kamloops.
The Prospects Men will complete their road trip in Kelowna, BC, on Sunday afternoon, as they meet Okanagan Challenge in a 2:30 p.m. PDT kickoff.
Whitecaps Prospects Men
Evan Lowther; Rhys Volkenant, Erik Hacker (Cameron Parkes 60’), Kyle Knees (Denny Serifovic 60’), Jerome Lou; Curtis Helm, Ashley Ankiewicz, Cameron Parkes (Adam Staschuk 32’), Bryan Cha (Riley Newport 45’); Lucas Barrett, Denny Serifovic (Carlos Del Aguila 32’)