Top teams make things tough on M’s

The UBC-Okanagan Heat and the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack visited the Vancouver Island University Mariners at Merle Logan Field.

Vancouver Island University Mariners player Renan Rebelatto

Vancouver Island University Mariners player Renan Rebelatto

VIU’s soccer teams had a winless weekend against two powerhouses in the PacWest.

The UBC-Okanagan Heat and the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack visited the Vancouver Island University Mariners on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, at Merle Logan Field.

The Mariners men tied the Heat 1-1 on Saturday, then lost 2-1 to the WolfPack the next day. The M’s ladies were shut out 4-0 on Saturday and 2-0 on Sunday.

The Mariners men were able to earn their draw against the first-placed Heat thanks to Farhad Abdulgani’s early goal.

Sunday’s game against the WolfPack was a physical affair, as the teams carried over some of the chippy play from earlier this fall in Kamloops. The Pack scored twice in the first half and then an M’s player was red-carded, making the comeback more difficult. Playing a man down, VIU was able to carry most of the second-half play and Nick Moore scored on a penalty kick to make the endgame interesting.

“As a coach you can’t ask for much more from a young team like ours,” said Bill Merriman, the team’s coach, in a press release. “I felt they dug very deep in the second half to try and get at least a single point. I think all our players learned from the game and this will only help us going forward.”

Anup Kang, coach of the M’s women, said in a press release that his team controlled long stretches of play against UBC-O but didn’t bring intensity at the start of the TRU matchup.

“Before the game we talked about coming out strong and playing a full 90 minutes today, but we came out sluggish and were punished for it,” said the coach.

GAME ON … The VIU Mariners men (3-3-2) and women (2-5-1) have home games Sunday (Oct. 6) against the Capilano Blues. The women’s match starts at noon with the men to follow at 2 p.m. Admission is free.