The VIU Mariners didn’t win the Canadian championship, but they were able to end soccer season by winning their last game at nationals.
Vancouver Island University’s women’s soccer side won one of three games at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championships in Montreal. VIU started with a 1-0 loss to the host Indiennes d’Ahuntsic on Wednesday, fell 2-1 to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Ooks on Thursday, then finished with a 4-1 victory over the Holland Hurricanes on Saturday.
“A lot of people here have been talking about it – a break here and there, we could have just as easily been playing in the final today,” said Anup Kang, Mariners coach. “The teams that were in our group are going to end up first or second, third and fourth at the national championships and we were right there with them.”
The tournament opener was 0-0 most of the way through and was evenly played.
“We had four or five really quality chances, but their keeper came up big and we hit the post,” Kang said. “Any one of those goes in and it’s a different ball game.”
The next day, the Ooks took it to the M’s early and built a 2-0 lead. The Mariners switched up their formation at halftime, though, and got an early goal in the second half from Kaylee Dodds to get back in it.
“After that, we had a number of chances to equalize, unfortunately it just didn’t happen for us,” said Kang.
In VIU’s final match, the women played a great game from the opening whistle until the final whistle, the coach said, controlling the play and maintaining possession. Rachel Jones opened the scoring and then Chloe Gummer scored a hat trick by halftime. The Mariners got all their players into the game in the second half.
“These girls, every time they put on that shirt, they had pride and they’re honoured to be wearing that VIU Mariners top and today was no different…” said Kang. “I’m really proud of our veteran players, they showed great leadership and kept the girls focused. They really wanted it and unfortunately it didn’t happen, but you know what? They went out on a really positive note.”
Harroop Malli, Dodds and Gummer were VIU’s players of the game. Moira Brown and Jill Kelly were among the other standouts at the tourney. Tournament all-stars haven’t yet been announced; this article will be updated with that information when it becomes available.