VIU Mariners player Harroop Malli

VIU Mariners player Harroop Malli

Mariners carry momentum into big games

VIU’s men’s and women’s teams head to the mainland this weekend (Oct. 1-2) to take on the Capilano Blues and the Quest Kermodes.

VIU’s soccer teams both feel as though they’re running in the right direction as they head into an important stretch of road games.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s and women’s teams are both coming off wins as they head to the mainland this weekend (Oct. 1-2) to take on the Capilano Blues and the Quest Kermodes, respectively, in PacWest play.

VIU’s women won both their games last weekend, beating the Douglas Royals 3-1 and the Langara Falcons 1-0. VIU defender Harroop Malli, the PacWest’s Athlete of the Week, said all the Mariners seemed to play to the best of their abilities.

“I feel like we just clicked a little more on the field and each individual, we all played so much better,” she said.

Last weekend’s results were noteworthy because they turned the Mariners (2-0-4) from a winless team into an undefeated one. Coach Anup Kang pointed out that since the first game of the season, his team has only allowed goals on set pieces and hasn’t allowed any goals during run of play.

“We’re able to talk it out and position ourselves really well,” Malli said. “One of us goes up, the other drops back. We’re just really good at communicating with each other, so it makes it a lot easier for each and every one of us.”

The Mariners tied the Blues and Kermodes earlier this month and will try to go one better on the road trip.

“Cap and Quest are both really tough teams,” Malli said. “We’ve played them now so … we have a better idea of how they play, so I think we’re just going to adjust ourselves better to their style of play and just work hard and play hard.”

As for the Mariners men, they’re coming off a 5-0 blowout of the Falcons. Billy Bagiopoulos, who scored two of those goals, said it helps the confidence not only for the goal scorers, but for the other players around them to believe in the team’s offensive capabilities.

He said the Mariners found success attacking from different angles, and will look to do more of the same Saturday against the undefeated Blues.

“I hope we’re able to put our players in better positions to score, because Capilano’s a good team,” Bagiopoulos said. “I think it’s going to be our biggest game so far. It’s going to be hard to break their defence.”

GAME ON … After this weekend’s road games, the Mariners have a bye week and then head off on another road trip, so they won’t play at home again until Oct. 22 against Cap.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com