Soccer Strikers stifle Wanderers

Chilliwack’s U-15 Striker girls emerged from a six-week winter hiatus to play a league game against Tswwassen last Sunday, taking on the first place Wanderers.

Out to avenge an early season loss, the locals found themselves under fire early.

The Wanderers peppered the net with shots through the first 16 minutes. Chilliwack keeper Samantha Chand lunged, dove and tipped away eight quality chances to keep the game scoreless.

The Strikers found their legs soon after, and were able to mount some dangerous attacks of their own.

Haley Mainse’s free kick from just outside the 18 was perfectly placed into the six yard box, but a Tswwassen player tipped it away just before Brett Karcioglu could send into home.

Chand made another five stops late to send her team into halftime locked in a 0-0 draw.

Chilliwack adjusted strategy in the second half, coming out with a conservative 4-4-2 alignment.

The Wanderers countered with an aggressive 3-3-4 setup, trying to get the go-ahead goal. Chand made a handful of stellar saves, supported by midfielders Emma Haagensen and Makayla Pfeifer, and central defenders Rhiannon Dunphy and Kelli Whitehead.

Twice, through passes from Sydney Richards and Jade Emond sent strikers Taylor Allan and Emily Finley into the clear. But the speedy Wanderers defense prevented good shots.

The game ended as it started, with no goals and both teams feeling the bumps and bruises of battle. It was the first time this season that Tswwassen was held scoreless.