Just the two teams are left undefeated in Division 1, both with perfect three wins out of three records, after Week 3 of the 2023/24 Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) season.
Another week of the highest level of amateur men’s soccer on Vancouver Island is in the books, and there were some interesting results in the five Division 1 games this past weekend.
The action started out on Friday night with a surprise, as Westcastle travelled to Cowichan and drew 1-1. Westcastle earned their first point of the young season with the draw, and their goal was scored by Sebastian Tarangle. Cowichan opened the scoring with a goal from Connor Crichton, but could not get another past the line.
Friday continued with surprises as Nanaimo shutout Victoria Highlanders 2-0 thanks to goals from Masters permitted players Daragh Fitzgerald and Matt Mehrassa. Earning the clean sheet for Nanaimo, and preventing the Highlanders from scoring their first goal of the season, was keeper Scott Brown.
Saturday got going in Powell River as hosts Villa welcomed Vic West to town, but it was the visitors who left with a 4-0 win. Vic West had goals from Ian Whibley, a brace by Salem Almardy, and a Powell River own goal. The clean sheet, his first of the season, went to keeper Bryce Benton.
Next up was the all Saanich battle, as Gorge shutout Lakehill 1-0. Gorge got the winning marker late in the match, and they have Keegan Phillips to thank for that. Keeping the Lakehill squad off the scoresheet was keeper Hayato Matsuba.
Sunday had the one match, and at Oak Bay High it was Bays United shutting out the previously undefeated Comox by score of 2-0. Bays had goals from Rhys Foster and Sam McDonald. Keeping the Comox squad off the board was keeper Ioannis Rodriguez.
So after all of that action, here’s what the VISL standings looks like after Week 3:
So just the two teams left undefeated at the top. Gorge and Vic West have started the year out perfectly, with three teams tied up on six points, and two teams still looking to score for the first time this season, besides earning their first points.
The Golden Glove race sees nine players with one shutout each to start the season.
The Golden Boot leaderboard calmed down a little over the weekend, but Ian Whibley and Salem Almardy of Vic West still lead the way. Both are on pace to score 48 and 42 goals respectively at this point!
The talk at this early point of the season is will anybody be able to stop Vic West??? Will Lakehill bounce back from their tough start? When will the Highlanders and Powell River squads score their first goal of the season.
These questions, and more, to be answered this week as the 10 teams will move around and do it again.
Friday gets started at Braefoot as Lakehill hosts Westcastle. Lakehill welcomes the young squad, as they have had a tough start, with some tough losses. Westcastle will need special performances across the board, but getting a result might be asking too much.
Saturday sees another game in Powell River as Villa welcome the Victoria Highlanders. Something is surely going to give this game as both teams have not scored yet, nor have they earned any points. Only a cancelled game because of no ferry will make for no changes in the standings on this one!
Saturday will also have a game North Island as Comox Valley hosts Cowichan. Both teams are coming off weekends where they dropped points, so who knows how this one is going to go. Home cooking and player availability may play a big role in the final outcome here.
Saturday will also have Gorge host Nanaimo at Hampton Park. Gorge are on a role, but this will be a good test for them. If Nanaimo is able to call up some of their freshly graduated to Masters players, this could be a close one.
The weekend wraps up with a not so common Sunday evening game where top of the table Vic West is hosting Bays United. Vic West has the most loaded team in the division, so this will be a tough one for the boys from Oak Bay. You still have to play the game, so David will be looking to take down Goliath.
Here’s the full slate of fixtures this weekend:
Thanks for supporting the players in your community who work, live, play, and go to school all year round. All results and fixtures, across all the divisions, can be found at VISL.org.