Hard work over the holiday hiatus paid off big time for Comox Valley United as they opened 2016 with a bang.
Saturday (Jan. 16) night at the Vanier Turf Field, United defeated Saanich Fusion 5-1 to take over sole possession of second place in Div. 1 of the Vancouver Island Soccer League. The teams went into the break with identical 9-3-2 records and Saanich sporting a better goals-for goals-against differential of +12 to United’s +11. The Fusion had won the first meeting between the two teams 2-1 back in October.
Comox game MVP Graham McNeil scored twice with Clay Fauchon, Zack Stinson and Grayson Chalifoux adding one each. Cardin Davis netted the lone Saanich goal. Stinson is now sixth in Div. 1 scoring with six goals.
“A great result and start to 2016,” said United spokesperson Rob Caya. “We started with two quick goals and never looked back.” The home team led 3-0 at the break and added their fourth early in the second half.
“We have three games left with teams that are going to look a lot different than the first time we played them due to player acquisitions,” Caya noted.
After road games Jan. 23 at fifth-place Gorge FC and Jan. 30 at sixth-place Nanaimo United, Comox Valley closes out the season at home Feb. 6 against eighth-place Lakehill FC.
When league play wraps up, United will turn its attention to the Jackson Cup competition, featuring 19 Div. 1 and Div. 2 teams in a single-knockout format.
Their first game will be Feb. 14 (play-in round) against Div. 2 Castaways in Victoria. The winner advances to Round 1 on Feb. 21 against Div. 1 Westcastle.
Round 2 (quarter-finals) go March 4-6, Round 3 (semifinals) March 18-20 and Round 4 (final) on April 3 at Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park.
THROW INS Follow team updates on Twitter @cvmens … team info, photos and videos of goals are on their Facebook page … the host Div. 1 team defeated Fraser Valley Premier League 3-0 in one of four VISL All Star Games on Jan. 9 in Victoria …