The VIU Mariners not only defended their championship, they left no doubts that they’re best in the PacWest.
Vancouver Island University’s women’s soccer team won provincial gold this weekend, blowing out the Capilano Blues 6-1 in Saturday’s final at Burnaby Lake.
VIU led 3-0 at half, Cap briefly closed the gap, but then the M’s took back control, ran out the clock and celebrated the program’s second-straight Pacific Western Athletic Association title.
“The girls were really strong, mental-wise; their approach to the game, I thought, was tremendous,” said Kevin Lindo, the team’s coach. “And that was a baseline for everything that came afterwards.”
The Mariners didn’t know their opponent until the previous day’s semifinal, but had a plan of attack against Capilano’s defensive structure. Lindo said his team’s attack was “ruthless” and the early lead only helped.
“Everybody wanted to get involved in the scoring,” he said. “We had confidence throughout the squad.”
Kate Reynolds and Chloe Gummer scored in the first 20 minutes, Shea Battie scored a pair and Saki Meshida and Olivia Mazurenko also found the back of the net. Melanie Osborne made six saves in goal.
Meshida was chosen tournament MVP, Osborne was top goalkeeper, Cara Dunlop was top defender and Battie was top midfielder.
Lindo said he was especially happy for the fifth years.
“They get to go out on a high in terms of the PacWest and we couldn’t have done it any better than we did,” he said. “It just spurs confidence for the current players.”
The Mariners will be B.C.’s only representative at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championships in Edmonton from Nov. 6-9, where they’ll try to do improve on their fifth-place finish from a year ago.
“In some ways, we’re better prepared for the kind of opposition at nationals, [with] the way the other teams set up and the experience that we have,” Lindo said. “We’ve worked on playing at a high level, so we’re looking forward to testing ourselves there.”
In other VIU soccer news, the Mariners men earned PacWest silver medals, losing 1-0 to the Douglas Royals in the provincial final Saturday at Burnaby Lake. The VIU men get a wild-card berth into the CCAA national championships Nov. 6-9 in Oshawa, Ont.