Campbell River Cermaq Wave win key contest

The CR Cermaq Wave men’s soccer team was back in action on Saturday, January 21, travelling to Victoria to play Saanich FFC.

Cermaq Wave were back on the field against Saanich on Jan. 21.

The CR Cermaq Wave men’s soccer team was back in action on Saturday, January 21, travelling to Victoria to play Saanich FFC in a VISL Division 1 fixture.

This was a closely contested game with CR Cermaq winning 3-1, a victory that ensured CR Cermaq remain in eighth place in league standings. With five games to play in this season’s schedule and a five-point buffer between the  ninth placed team (Comox Valley), the Campbell River squad enhances its prospects of remaining in Division 1 for the 2017/18 season.

However, the game did not begin as planned for CR Cermaq as Saanich FFC punished some hesitancy in the CR Cermaq defence and scored within the first five minutes. It took a further 10 minutes for CR Cermaq to begin to exert any sustained pressure on the Saanich defence but few goal scoring chances were created as the final ball was often overplayed or misplaced.

Meanwhile, Saanich continued to pose problems for the CR Cermaq defence but both teams were struggling to provide that bit of quality needed to create a meaningful goal scoring chance. That was until two minutes before halftime when Rob Shaw delivered a perfectly flighted cross to Blaze Roberts who headed clinically past the Saanich goalkeeper.

CR Cermaq had started to gain territorial advantage towards the end of the first half and in an effort to turn this into goals, the team started the second half with a more attacking formation. However, the first chance was created by Saanich but CR Cermaq goalkeeper Wylie Roberts produced a sensational save, palming an effort destined for the top corner over the bar. This seemed to galvanise the rest of the CR Cermaq defence – Eric Roberts, Colan Grootenboer, Peter McWilliams, Zach Hamilton – and for the remainder of the game they snuffed out any threat that Saanich carried.

With the defence playing more assuredly, the attacking players – Matt Wooff, Taylor Arbour, Wyatt Bryce, Blaze Roberts – supported by Mark Ross and Rob Shaw at the base of midfield – increased their pressure on the Saanich defence.

Heading into the final 10 minutes and with substitutes Hans Aunet and Karson Kroetsch on to add impetus to the attack, CR Cermaq was still searching for that vital second goal. When it did arrive, it was the same combination as the first goal – a great cross from Rob Shaw gleefully headed home by Blaze Roberts. The relief was immediately evident throughout the team and the win was secured with three minutes remaining when Hans Aunet scored from distance, completely deceiving the Saanich goalkeeper.

CR Cermaq continue their quest to remain in VISL Division 1 with a game versus Vic West FC at the Robron Turf Field, Saturday, Jan. 28 at 3 p.m.