M’s soccer ‘buzzing’ about nationals

The M’s women’s and men’s soccer sides begin their respective Canadian championship tournaments on Wednesday (Nov. 5).

The VIU Mariners soccer teams both finished in first place. At provincials, the women won gold, the men won silver. Both get to go to nationals. No matter what, it’s been a winning season.

“We’ve achieved our goals up till now – the goal now is to win,” said Maddy Dawson, all-star midfielder.

The M’s women’s and men’s soccer sides begin their respective Canadian championship tournaments on Wednesday (Nov. 5). The ladies are in Medicine Hat, Alta., while the guys are in Oakville, Ont.

“It’s so exciting and I can’t wait to just be there and step on that field,” said Samantha Rodgers, MVP defender, last week.

The women begin play against the host side, and don’t have any scouting reports on the competition. Most teams they face at nationals will be unfamiliar.

“It’s definitely different, because we’re so used to playing the same teams again and again,” Rodgers said. “Not knowing their playing style, it’s a bit intimidating but we also know that we are a strong team and they should be worried about us, too.”

Dawson said the Mariners are versatile, with players able to move around the pitch and play out of position if it helps the team. Rodgers said the M’s play physical and quick, or whatever style they need to play.

She said the team is driven.

“We are all so focused and we all want it,” she said.

The Mariner men are sharply focused too, said all-star midfielder Renan Rebelatto – they’re preparing not only for their first match against Holland College, but they’re preparing for their first 15 minutes of that match, then after that they’ll worry about the next 15.

“When the time comes, we’ll be buzzing,” Rebelatto said.

Playoff soccer is a little different, said Bill Merriman, coach of the M’s men.

“There’s desperation,” he said. “Teams are throwing things at you, the soccer’s a lot more competitive, there’s more at stake.”

The coach knows a little bit about what players to watch for on other teams, and said his team will need to be alert.

“We have to make sure that the players are assigned jobs and duties, then stick to them because at nationals, you blink and it’s in the back of your net,” he said.

The flipside is the Mariners have guys who can do that to other teams. They have a roster designed to compete at nationals. They will try to keep the game simple and stick to their strengths.

“That’s what I tell our players – more than worry about the other teams, I say, let’s just go for it and let them worry about us,” Merriman said.

Rebelatto said no one will outrun the Mariners this week. He said the players put on their jerseys not only for themselves and their teammates, but also for those who have worn the jerseys in the past, and those who will do so in the future.

“We have the biggest heart in Canada right now, we’re ready for anything, and we’re really proud at VIU,” Rebelatto said.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read