Comox Valley United wasn’t playing around when they opened Jackson Cup play with a 5-0 win over Castaways on Feb. 14 in the play-in round of the annual Vancouver Island Soccer League competition.
The 19-team cup tourney features 10 Div. 1 teams and nine Div. 2 squads in a single-knockout format.
Luke Phye led United with two goals while Gabby Mason, Tyler Laitinen and Phil Ludwig added one each. Mack Zirkl earned the shutout.
While calling it a “Valentine’s Day Massacre” might be stretching things, Sunday’s game in Victoria was clearly a “Valentine’s Day Mismatch.” United, who finished second in Div. 1 with a 12-3-3 record, were too much for Castaways, who finished ninth (last place) in Div. 2 with a 3-10-2 record.
The win advances the Comox Valley squad to Round #1 of the cup, where they will play Div. 1 Westcastle on Feb. 21 in Victoria. Westcastle finished ninth in the 10-team Div. 1 with a 4-13-1 record. United won both regular season meetings between the two teams: 4-0 in Courtenay and 4-3 in Victoria.
Other play-in round games this past weekend saw Div. 1 Gorge vanquish Div. 1 Vic West 6-1 while Div. 1 Saanich Fusion scraped by Div. 2 Vantreights 2-1.
Jackson Cup Round #2 (quarter-final) games go March 4-6 with Round #3 (semifinals) March 18-20 and Round #4 (final) April 3 at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
THROW INS United finished the regular season at a torrid 9-1-1 pace and posted the second-best goals-for and goals-against differential of plus-18 …