The last six days have not been kind to Chilliwack’s Pacific Coast Soccer League women, who’ve seen their U-21 reserve season go from bad to worse with three straight losses.
The locals lost 4-0 on the road last Saturday to a veteran Mid Isle Highlanders squad loaded with university-aged players.
Despite the result, Chilliwack coach Glenn Wilson was pleased with his team’s effort against a championship-calibre team.
“They are the toughest team we’ve played, but we competed well,” he said.
The Highlanders scored twice on penalty kicks, both questionable calls in Wilson’s view.
“Other refs wouldn’t have called them, but this one did,” he lamented. “The other two goals, one came on a shot from 35 yards out and the other from 40, both of them out of the blue. But we stood up to them and didn’t drop our heads.”
Offensively, the goal-starved locals were blanked again, and that continued Sunday with a 1-0 loss to visiting West Van FC.
Chilliwack gave their opponents two clear-cut scoring chances, and one went in.
“And given our inability to score these days, one mistake is enough to cost us a game,” Wilson said. “When we are given chances, we don’t make them pay. We don’t punish our opponents for giving the ball away. Conversely, when we make any sort of error, our opponents always seem to punish us.”
The bottom dropped out Tuesday night as Chilliwack played the Fraser Valley Action at Trinity Western University. The final score was 5-0, and it was the first time this season that Wilson was unable to draw any positives from the result.
“That was against the team that was second from bottom, and we made them look good with what I’d say was our worst performance of the season,” Wilson said.
Chilliwack’s lack of offensive finish was evident early.
They had six clear-cut chances in the opening 20 minutes, situations where they had the ball behind the defence with only the goalie to beat. Each time, Wilson saw rushed shots sail wide of the net, over the net or right into the goalie’s gut.
“We could have been up 3-0, then we give away two silly goals and we’re down 2-0,” the coach said. “Then you could see the confidence starting to wane, and the girls starting to think, ‘same old, same old.”
Chilliwack trailed 3-0 at the break.
They showed some brief fight for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but otherwise went quietly into the night.
“What I told them afterwards is put it down to a bad day at the office,” Wilson said. “The score line reflected the play, really, and it hadn’t been the case in other games this year. But I told them they haven’t become a bad team and bad players overnight.”
At 0-8-1 with seven games to play, a playoff spot is now the longest of long-shots.
But Wilson expects to have many of these girls on the team next year, which makes the remainder of this season both an audition and a learning experience.
“At the youth level you can recover from mistakes, where at this level your opponents make you pay in the worst way,” Wilson said. “This season has opened up eyes to where we’re at compared to where we should be at, but hopefully, it’s a case of taking one step back to take two steps forward.”
Chilliwack host the Penticton Pinnacles Saturday at Townsend Park with a 2 p.m. kickoff.