Team Pink’s Janelle Smith

Team Pink’s Janelle Smith

Lower Island Women’s Soccer all-star games: one blowout, one nailbiter

Assorted team reps pit their skills against each other in Langford

Where Game 1 of Sunday’s Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association all-star day saw a demonstration of potent firepower, game 2 was a gritty match that needed a shootout to determine a winner.

Castaways-Highlanders FC’s Liz Hansen showed the flair of old, scoring three goals to lead Team Pink to a 6-0 win over Team Purple in the Premier-Division 1 opener at Westhills Stadium.

All the goals came in the first half, as Hansen, longtime teammate Mariel Solsberg of Castaways Highlanders FC and Claire Ethier of Vancouver Island Wave, and other talented players unleashed a barrage on their opponents.

“We had our goalkeeper in net; I had to score on her a few times just to keep her quiet at practice,” Hansen said with a grin, referring to fellow Highlanders teammate Stephanie Parker.

“It’s a good kickaround after Christmas to get everyone out,” Hansen said of the all-star format. “It was a fun game. I think we came out strong early and just had some fun.”

Solsberg, Janelle Smith of Prospect Lake Premier and Heidi McGeough of Prospect Lake Div. 1 also scored in the win.

In the second half, Team Purple carried much of the play as substitutions came in and the flow of the game settled somewhat. But neither team forced the opposing goalkeeper to come up big in the half.

Hansen’s output earned her game most valuable player honours for the Team Pink. Parker may have been in goal for the first-half onslaught, but her many athletic stops helped keep the score from being even more lopsided and prompted organizers to award her Team Purple’s MVP award.

Both players were awarded game balls autographed by all the players, as well as a plaque.

The Div. 2, 3 and over-30s players who suited up for the second match of the day put together a fast, hard-tackling affair that wound up in a 2-2 draw by the end of regulation and overtime. Team Pink scored five times to Purple’s four in a shootout to record the win.

Regulation time saw a pair of Juan de Fuca players thrust into the spotlight. Shayna Dry scored both goals for the Pink side, while Tory Van Tyckom matched the feat for the Purple squad. Both were named MVPs.

Association president Casey Tepper said the spirit of the games was positive, although a couple of players were injured in the second match.

“The score doesn’t matter, what matters is the smiles on their faces,” he said.

The matches offered spectators a good taste of women’s soccer in Greater Victoria, Hansen said.

“I think the fans saw some good plays here, saw some goals and some good tackling and good passing,” she said. “It’s just a small bit of what Victoria has to offer. There’s lot of good players out there, and lots who aren’t even here today.”

Volunteers selling 50/50 tickets raised about $250 for the Mustard Seed Food Bank on the day, and  four large boxes of non-perishable food were collected.