The U-21 reserve women took on TSS Academy Red Tuesday night at Townsend Park, battling the visitors to a 2-2 draw.
They led 2-1 in the final minute, coming within seconds of getting their first win of the year.
But when you’ve had the kind of season Chilliwack has had (0-9-2), settling for a draw in heartbreaking fashion doesn’t feel so bad. Coming on the heels of five straight losses, just getting a single point is like a breath of fresh air.
And just as importantly, the locals scored two goals.
They hadn’t put the ball behind an opposing goaltender since a 2-1 loss to the Fraser Valley Action May 25.
Rachel Yang pulled the trigger to open the scoring, and it was no cheapie.
From just above the 18-yard box she got the ball, wheeled and fired a high shot that arched over the TSS keeper and into the net.
“It was really good for them to get the monkey off their backs, but I wasn’t really happy about their first half play,” Wilson said. “At halftime I told them they were lucky to be in front. We were giving the ball away far too much and creating too much work for ourselves.”
His crew responded, playing a much better possession game in the second half.
They went up 2-0 at the 20 minute mark when Emma Haagensen snuck behind the TSS defence, took a through-ball from Dariann Kloot and snuck a left-footed shot behind the keeper on a breakaway.
TSS answered within two minutes, then stepped up the pressure looking for the equalizer.
“The girls pushed the panic button a little bit, trying desperately to hold on to the lead,” Wilson said. “You could see the goal coming. It was a foolish giveaway 30 yards out, and it ended up in our net.”
Had the locals held on for the win, they would have leap-frogged TSS Academy Red and escaped the basement of the nine-team circuit.
As it is, they remain in last place and face a buzz-saw opponent Sunday afternoon as they tackle a Mid Isle Highlanders squad that sits second in the league at 6-1-3.
Mid Isle beat Chilliwack 4-1 in their only prior meeting this year.
“The girls know, for the amount of times we gave the ball away Tuesday night, TSS wasn’t good enough to punish us,” Wilson noted. “Mid Isle will be. So we will work on maintaining possession and playing a smart team game. We’ll see how they respond, and I’ve told them already that they have nothing to lose.”
Game time is 2 p.m.
— Chilliwack’s PCSL U-21 men play two games this weekend, hosting TSS Academy Saturday (2 p.m. at Townsend Park) and visiting West Van FC on Sunday.