VIU Mariners know what they’re up against

Vancouver Island University's men's soccer team begins play tomorrow (Nov. 7) at the CCAA championships in Coquitlam.

VIU Mariners player Matt Mehrassa controls the ball during a practice drill Thursday at Merle Logan Field.

VIU Mariners player Matt Mehrassa controls the ball during a practice drill Thursday at Merle Logan Field.

The VIU Mariners had to earn another chance, and they’ve done so. Now they’ll try to take advantage.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s soccer team begins play tomorrow (Nov. 7) at the Canadian Colleges’ Athletic Association championships in Coquitlam. The challenge is significant, especially since the Mariners find themselves on the more difficult side of the draw with the host Douglas Royals, the defending-CCAA-champion NAIT Ooks and the Holland Hurricanes.

“To me, we couldn’t be in a better situation because we’ve played all these teams before and we know what we’re up against,” said Matt Mehrassa, VIU captain.

The eight-team showdown starts with VIU taking on Holland from Prince Edward Island. M’s soccer fans might recognize that opponent – Holland is the team that thwarted VIU a year ago at nationals in a bizarre game. The M’s lost 2-1 despite hardly allowing a shot on goal – the Hurricanes scored from 70 yards out after the ball got caught by a gust of wind, and then the M’s booted a clearing attempt off a player’s leg into their own net.

“You can only make so many excuses for your loss. They beat us fair and square last year,” Mehrassa said. “But do I think that we’re a better team? Absolutely. But it doesn’t always work that the best team wins.”

So the experience of last year’s nationals is only encouraging for the M’s now that they enter this year’s tournament seeded No. 7, up against the No. 2-seeded Hurricanes.

Bill Merriman, coach of the VIU men, said Holland did a good job shutting down his team’s top striker last year, Jared Stephens.

“That took away a lot of our offence,” Merriman said. “With this team, we have scoring from all over. It’s going to be a lot tougher for them to prepare for us.

“We missed a lot of scoring chances in that game [last year] whereas this team, I think if they get those same chances they’re more likely to score some goals.”

Mehrassa said playing Holland again gives the M’s a chance at redemption.

“A lot of the guys that were there and felt what we felt are here again, so we’re going to take that feeling and we’re not going to let that happen again,” he said.

GAME ON … The Mariners and Hurricanes play at 5:30 p.m. at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park. There will be a live webcast at this link … To read more on the VIU team’s return to nationals, please click here.

Just Posted

New Vancouver Island University chancellor Judith Sayers was sworn in at a virtual ceremony June 17. (Submitted photo)
VIU’s new chancellor seeks innovation and equality in post-secondary education

Judith Sayers officially sworn in as Vancouver Island University chancellor

Letter writer suggests ways residents and the municipality can address the problem of litter along the highway. (Stock photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Don’t add to litter problem

Letter writer who picks up litter along Parkway Trail implores Nanaimo to be tidier

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

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.

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 pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Most Read