As mentioned in this space recently, the sport of soccer has always had a strong presence in the Nanaimo community. Not only through youth soccer programs offered through the Harbour City Football Club, previously known as Nanaimo and District Youth Soccer Association. But also through adult recreational leagues, men’s and women’s teams in the Vancouver Island Soccer League and through school teams and those at Vancouver Island University.
This past weekend saw the provincial AAA boys’ high school soccer championship played in Burnaby. Although no Nanaimo teams were involved, a pair of local squads had very successful seasons and competed strongly.
Teams from both Dover Bay Secondary and Nanaimo District Secondary competed last month at the Vancouver Island AAA senior boys’ soccer championships in Victoria and both teams had a solid showing. The NDSS boys went 1-2 in their round-robin matches against entries from Mount Douglas, Spectrum and Reynolds. Neil Grigoletto coached the Nanaimo District side and was very pleased with the effort of team members Jacob Houtman, Asuka Nishikawa, Morgan McPhee, Wes Korecki, Matthew Coburn, Igor Pires Giurardeli, Trey Latty, Alex Dedame, Fraser Rideout, Sahil Gill, Jakob Sutton, Jaskarn Golebans, Sahib Singh, Nils Deutsch, Ambrose Tierney and Ryan Theuerkorn.
Meanwhile, the Dover Bay team posted round-robin wins over Cowichan and Claremont before losing to Oak Bay, just missing a chance to play in the final. Head coach for squad was Ian Baird and players on the team were Sean Casey, Nathan Castle, Graham Dimos, Rhys Ekland, Colton Golsbury, Rhys Foster, Han Kim, Stephon Kriegel, Nathan MacGougon, Candan Nixon, Juan Rubiano, Riley Scott, Dean Van Duist, Ian Tuck, Jared Pinker, Aurgha Das, Colton Davies, Jesse Miller, Evan Baksaas Vemund, Cullan McPhillips, Finn Bodnar, Jordan Khakh and Martin Lwyn.
In other news from the pitch, congratulations go to this year’s men’s and women’s soccer teams from Vancouver Island University. Both Mariner squads finished second in their respective league standings, the men at 7-4-1 and the women at 5-2-5 and both teams qualified for the PacWest provincial championship in Burnaby.
There, the VIU men finished in fourth place, edged 1-0 in the bronze medal match that was decided on penalty kicks. Bill Merriman coached the Mariner men, assisted by Christian Granvoinet and Chris Merriman.
It was a fantastic provincial tournament for the Mariner women, who came away with the B.C. title thanks to a 1-0 upset of top seed Douglas Royals in the final. The win qualified VIU for a trip to the Canadian College Athletic Association national championships in Montreal, where the Mariners dropped their first two matches 1-0 and 2-1 but finished on a winning note with a strong 4-1 decision over Holland Hurricanes.
Head coach for the team was Anup Kang and assistant coaches were Allison Bach and Shelby Walker.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest play fair, and show good sportsmanship.