Chilliwack’s Pacific Coast Soccer League U-21 women took it on the chin Saturday, losing 6-0 at home to the Penticton Pinnacles.
The game may have been completely different if not for one bad break in the opening minutes.
Chilliwack thought they had the game’s opening goal when a shot went off the Penticton keeper, off a Chilliwack player and in. For a home side that has struggled mightily to score, there was a huge sense of relief seeing the ball cross the goal-line.
But as the jubilant girls celebrated, the game officials huddled.
Moments later, the goal was called off.
Though the referee had called it a goal, one of the linesman said that the ball had crossed the end-line moments before finding its way into the Penticton net.
From 60 to 70 feet away, Chilliwack coach Glenn Wilson couldn’t say whether or not it was the correct call.
“But the girls seemed quite sure that it hadn’t crossed the end line at any point,” he said. “At any rate, they were quite deflated and frustrated. And I do think the game would have been different had they gotten that monkey off their back.”
Penticton scored soon after and didn’t look back.
From his sideline spot, Wilson watched his rattled team psych themselves out of the game.
“It’s got into their heads now, this inability to score, and they’ve got away from the game plan,” he said, talking about a team that hasn’t scored since May 25. “We want them to be playing the ball on the ground, from back to front. Instead, they’re so focused on scoring a goal that they’re just launching it forward. They’ve gotten impatient, and as a result they’re giving the ball away lots.”
They’ve scored just twice all year en-route to an 0-9-1 record. They’ve been blanked in six straight outings, and eight of 10 overall.
All they can do at this point, Wilson said, is keep plugging away.
“One of the problems that we’ll address with the league in the offseason is this schedule that has seen us play five mid-week games,” he said. “We’ve got another two coming up, so seven overall, and that really interferes with training. For a young and relatively inexperienced team like ours, training is very important.”
Their sixth mid-weeker takes place tonight at Townsend Park as Chilliwack hosts Richmond’s TSS Academy Red (0-6-1). Wilson believes it to be a winnable game against a team that sits just above Chilliwack in the nine-team circuit.
“We talked after Saturday’s game about trying to get away from this ‘must score’ focus and get back to playing,” he said. “Just play. Have fun and do what we’re supposed to do.”
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.