FVSL

Weekly Reports -- Winter 2021-2022

December 31, 2021 (Week 14-15)

From the Media Desk of the Fraser Valley Soccer League…

Winter has come and it has certainly let the footballing world in the Lower Mainland know! All divisions of the FVSL were affected, including the top flight where several highly anticipated matches fell victim to the snowy conditions. However, a handful of matches did get played across the final two weeks of 2021, including the SC Cup semifinals. Be sure to check out the FVSL Premier Review to learn which teams will play for the first trophy of the 2021-22 season, and to see how the Premier Division table looks heading into the Holiday Break.

Division 1
First place Tzeachten FC have already been beset by weather cancellations this season in Division 1, however, the leaders were able to get both their matches in over the final two weeks of 2021, and boy did they have their shooting boots on! Tzeachten smashed last place Juba FC 14-0 in Week 13, with Dale Long taking the opportunity to extend his lead atop the Golden Boot standing with a five goal outing while Zenow Roberts also helped himself to a hattrick. Long then banged in another two goals in Tzeachten’s 4-0 win over Langley United B to close out the year. A hattrick from David Saavedra helped TWU Spartans B close out 2021 in second place after they beat Premier Academy U21 5-1 and overtook TSS FC Rovers II U21 who were held to a 1-1 draw in their final match of the calendar year by Langley United. Rovers do hold a game in hand, though, and will resume their battle with TWU in the New Year. Port Moody Piranhas closed out their 2021 schedule with a pair of wins, defeating Surrey United SC B and Abbotsford United C 2-1 and 4-1 respectively. It was a slightly sour note for Surrey to end the year on, having played well to beat FC Tigers Vancouver B 3-2 the previous week on the back of goals from three different players. Dallyn Simpson and Ivan Bortolussi sent North Delta SC NEWWAY into the break on a winning note as they combined to provide their side a 2-0 over Surrey United SC Reds U21.

Division 2
Our final Match of the Week for 2021 in Division 2A delivered a key upset and left the group well poised for a compelling title race come the New Year. Coming into the penultimate week of the schedule two points back of first place Abbotsford United B, goals by Dylan McKamey and leading scorer Bela Piocza delivered a 2-1 for Ridge Meadows SC United. That saw them leapfrog Abby into first place although all is not lost for Abbotsford, who got a goal from Immy Bandesha in the loss, as they still hold a game in hand. Also taking advantage of this result were Mission SC A as they got goals from three different scorers to overcome a brace by Davor Rajhert, who now leads the division in scoring, and emerge 3-2 winners over Aldergrove United Highlanders. The entire final week of the Division 2 schedule was wiped out, which meant Abbotsford would be forced to spend the holidays trapped behind Mission and Ridge Meadows, while over in Division 2B North Surrey Mustangs A enjoyed the festive season atop the table. A brace from Jakr Mohammad Amin Othman paved the way for a 2-1 win for the Mustangs over Surrey FC Punjab and left North Surrey five points clear in first place. However, third place Coastal FC, who went flying into the break on the back of hattricks for Lee Boon and Seth Hayward in a 7-1 win over Langley United Dragons, are lurking six points back, but with two games in hand.

Division 3
First place Langley United Impact in Division 3A were one of just three teams to get both of their final scheduled matches of 2021 played. The Impact closed out the year with a pair of wins, edging Tri City FC A 2-1 on the strength of a pair of Jeremey Amberg goals, and then knocking off Ridge Meadows SC Wolves U21 6-2 in a game in which Amberg was again amongst the scorers, but this time it was Lyle Johnson who contributed the brace in the win. The Impact cruise into 2022 five points up on second place Mission SC U21 who split their final two games of the year, edging Xwelmexw FC A 2-1, but falling 3-1 to Tri City. Sitting jointly in third place, seven points back of the Impact are Abbotsford SA Graduates U21 and Ridge Meadows SC Misfits, though both teams hold a game in hand after they were only able to get one match in over the final two weeks. For Graduates, they closed out 2021 with a 4-1 win over Poco FC Rockets in which Prabhman Gurm scored twice and Ishminder Dhaliwal was also on target to give him a FVSL best 23 goals on the season at the break. Meanwhile, Misfits lost ground in the title race when their year finished with a 1-1 draw against local rivals Ridge Meadows SC Strikers. It was Tyler Carlson who scored for Misfits, but his tally was canceled out by Riley Donaldson for the Strikers. Over in Division 3B, things are starting to look rather comfortable for leaders Ladner FC, who closed this portion of their season with a comprehensive 5-1 win over WRU Cloverdale FC A. Their closest challengers to begin 2022 will be second place Whalley Wakanda, who sit seven points back with a game in hand after they also won 5-1, beating BCT Westside United.

Division 4
Despite most of the final week of the schedule being lost, Division 4 provided further twists and turns in both its groups heading into the holidays. In 4B, North Delta SC 91s got a goal from Jordy Keller and stymied a potent North Delta SC United SC offense, thanks in large part to a Mathew Pereira, to knock off their local rivals 1-0 in a match with major title implications. Meanwhile, in another equaling pivotal clash atop the table, a brace by Josh Coesel helped make the difference as Grass & Hops FC were 3-2 winners over Aldergrove United Lowlanders. All those results leave G&H on top at the break, but the other three sides are all within four points and all hold a game in hand. Over in 4A, Tri City FC B beat the odds and got in not only two, but three games over the final weeks of 2021. A trio of victories in which they scored a combined 15 goals while only allowing two against saw they rocket to the top of the table. They began by beating Ridge Meadows SC Dons 3-0, but then put in a pair of impressive wins over fellow title hopefuls Poco FC Athletic, winning 7-1 and 5-1 with Ethan Silver grabbing a hattrick in the process. Conversely, challengers Mission SC B played no games over the last two weekends of the year, leaving them well back in fourth place, but holding three games in hand. Elsewhere, second place Poco FC Pacific did get a single game in, beating Abbotsford Phoenix FC 3-0 to go into the break six points off the pace, but also holding a game in hand over Tri City.

Masters
A full slate of Masters 1 matches went ahead over the penultimate weekend of the 2021 schedule before the division was slated for the final week before the holidays off. Both North Delta SC Rangers and Langley United Knights were winners, beating Surrey United SC and WRU South Surrey FC 5-2 and 4-1 respectively. Meanwhile, Craig Robinson recorded a hattrick in a 4-1 Chilliwack Rapids win over Aldergrove United. Congratulations to Ridge Meadows SC Wolves who become the first Champions in the FVSL for the 2021-22 season! Despite their final match of 2021 against White Rock United falling victim to the weather, the Wolves were confirmed as title winners when goals by Craig Mennen and Brian Noga provided Brander Redshirts with a 2-1 win over Whalley City. While it may be somewhat anticlimactic to win the title without setting foot on the field, surely Ridge Meadows will be happy to claim their well-earned prize as they look to turn heads in the Masters A Cup come 2022! Elsewhere, Stuart Pickard closed out the year with a solid performance, netting a hattrick for Langley United Benders in an 8-3 triumph over Xwelmexw FC. Finally, while they are not yet in a position to claim the championship, Masters 3 leaders Coastal FC Alumni headed into the holidays on a very festive note with a 6-0 win over Abbotsford Arsenal. That keeps them seven points ahead of Ridge Medows SC Thunder, who were already on their break as they enjoyed a bye, and WRU South Surrey FC Bullets, who were 2-1 winners over Langley United Heat.

MATCH OF THE WEEK

While there is little guarantee that the winter weather which wreaked havoc on the schedule prior to the Holiday Break will spare the matches scheduled for the first week of 2022, if matches are able to go ahead there are plenty of big games on the docket, and perhaps none bigger than the tussle at the top of the Division 4B table between leaders Grass & Hops FC and second place North Delta SC 91s. Both of these teams are embroiled in a tight four-way battle for top spot and are currently separated by just a single point, with second place North Delta holding a game in hand. The 91s are a veteran side and have only lost twice this season, although one of those losses was the reverse fixture against Grass & Hops. The 91s are built around a solid defensive structure in front of goalkeeper Mathew Pereira who has kept four clean sheets while the team as a whole has conceded division low eleven goals against. While not the most offensively flashy, ND have scored 33 goals this season, led by Ryan Lal and Junior Gutierrez who have six and five apiece, which gives the 91s the best goal difference in 4B.

While the stats might not be quite as flattering for Grass & Hops, they have acquitted themselves well in the debut season in the FVSL. Goalkeeper Inder Deol has proven that he is more than capable at this level, having already registered five clean sheets, while Derek Jackman has led the line, chipping in with five goals. Navinder Chohan has been a driving force for G&H in their inaugural season and he and his teammates will be keen to make their stay at this level a short one. The schedule in Division 4 is rapidly approaching its climax and the result in this game, however it finishes, is likely to go a long way towards determining who will be crowned champion!

North Delta SC 91s v Grass & Hops FC goes Sunday afternoon at 2pm at Wade Road Park.

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