Relegation battle at forefront as VISL season winds down

Relegation battle at forefront as VISL season winds down

It’s crunch time as far as amateur soccer goes on the Island.

The top flight is coming to an end, but some spots and placements are still to be determined. Most teams only have one or two games left to complete, and the pressure is mounting at the bottom end of the division.

Here is a snapshot of what took place in league play over the past weekend.

Friday started out with a tight game in Duncan with Cowichan slipping by Gorge 1-0 thanks to Jordan Korven goal. Providing the clean sheet for Cowichan was Robbie Cochrane.

Friday also had an interesting result from Oak Bay High as Bays United defeated Victoria Highlanders 3-1. Bays had a goal from Connor Legge and two goals from Patrick Nelson, while the lone goal for the Highlanders was scored by Lachlan Will.

Saturday had a doubleheader at Starlight and the first game saw Nanaimo defeat Juan de Fuca 2-1. Both Nanaimo goals were scored by Colin Jacques, with Devon Austin on the scoresheet for JDF.

Next up was a goalfest as Vic West exploded to defeat Westcastle 5-3. Marcus Campanile and Kevin Perez both hits braces for Vic West, with Andres Algarin also on the scoresheet. Westcastle goals were scored by Arnold Mugoromi, Norbert Cedric-Aba, and Callum Colgate.

Wrapping up the weekend, Powell River hosted the Victoria Highlanders, who were on double duty over the Friday and Sunday. That game was a 1-1 draw with Powell River’s goal coming from Niko Cristante and Lachlan Will on the scoresheet again for the Highlanders.

So after all of that action, the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) Division 1 standings look as follows:

While Lakehill are still enjoying their time at the top of the table, looking down on everybody else, there is plenty of worry from the teams at the bottom of the division.

Westcastle are still at the foot and will need a mini miracle to stay in the division for next year. The battle to see who else lands in the bottom three is not done yet and we will need another round of games first to see how that might look like playing out.

Nanaimo will most likely finish 2nd, and Vic West 3rd. with Bays and Cowichan battling for 4th and 5th.

So the end is near, and the upcoming weekend will potentially answer a lot of questions.

Will the top five teams be determined? Will we see who finishes in the relegation zone (bottom 3 of the division) and will we see who will finish in the basement of the division?

Here is the lineup of games. It’s a busy one to say the least!

Friday gets started in Nanaimo as they host Cowichan. Nanaimo has snuck through on the fortunate side of a couple results of late and they will hope to turn it up for Cowichan, who have been Jekyll and Hyde this year. If the motivated Cowichan team shows up, this will be a great match.

Friday also sees Vic West hosting Highlanders at Finlayson Turf. Vic West will finish with a BC Cup berth, but the season has been up and down. The Highlanders will be travelling after this week, so they will not be participating in Jackson Cup or BC Provincial Cup. This will be an interesting match to take in.

Saturday sees a battle in Powell River as Juan de Fuca Allflows travel to Timberlane Park. This could prove to be a VERY important game as it will go towards the finishing places and which three teams will finish in the relegation zone. Powell River has been lifting their level in recent games. This is a big match with very valuable three points on the line.

Saturday also has Gorge hosting Comox at Hampton Turf. Simple stuff here – a Gorge win ensures they do not finish in the bottom three. A Comox win will make spots 7 to 10 very tight again. Who knows which way this one will go, but plenty on the line though!

Saturday wraps up with Westcastle hosting Lakehill at Starlight Stadium. There is no denying that Westcastle are facing a tough road to eliminate automatic relegation for finishing in last place. They need a win against the division winners to even consider the possibility of staying in the 1st Division.

An extra game on Tuesday night sees the Victoria Highlanders wrap up their season by going to Nanaimo. Other than Nanaimo potentially already wrapping up 2nd place, there’s not much else on the line here, just bragging rights.

The Jackson Cup also got underway this past weekend with a couple of entry round games. Both games were not too close as Division 1 teams defeated Division 2 teams, both via a 5-0 scoreline: Comox (Div 1) defeated ETFC of Div 2 and Gorge (Div 1) defeated Saanich Fusion (Div 2).

You can find all the latest results, standings, and fixtures across all of the divisions at VISL.org.

Thanks for supporting local grassroots soccer, and people in your community.

Authored by: Vince Greco

VISL Executive Director

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