It looked like a mismatch on paper, but it didn’t play out exactly that way.
The winless Fraser Valley Mariners stayed within a goal of the division-leading Kitsap Pumas for the better part of 90 minutes in Premier Development League soccer action on Sunday at Bateman Park.
But the visitors pulled away down the stretch, scoring twice in the late going en route to a 3-0 win.
“For the most part, we were fairly competitive,” Mariners coach Ian Knight said. “3-0 maybe flattered them a little bit, in all honesty, given the way we competed. They scored two goals later on.”
Matt Friesen notched a pair of goals for the Pumas and Ben Truax added a single, while goalie Zac Lubin posted the clean sheet as Kitsap improved to 7-2-1.
The Mariners’ Mark Village was the busier of the two keepers, and he finished with nine saves in the loss.
The Mariners (0-10-1) will seek their first victory on Wednesday, as they host the Vancouver Whitecaps U23 side at 6:30 p.m. at Bateman Park.
“We’ve never put too much emphasis on the record,” Knight said, alluding to the fact that clubs like the Pumas and the Whitecaps have deep pockets, while the Mariners are comprised mainly of local university players.
“Obviously it would be great to get a win under our belt for a bit of confidence for the boys. But we’re realistic, and we know where we’re at. The boys will just continue to battle away and do what they can, and gain invaluable experience from playing at that level.”