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VIU Mariners soccer teams go undefeated to start new season

Women and men both win one, tie one as PacWest play gets underway
VIU Mariners player Shea Battie looks to pass the ball as Capilano Blues opponent Natalie LeClerc closes in during PacWest action Sunday at NDSS Community Field. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

The VIU Mariners soccer program got to start the PacWest season on their home turf, and took advantage.

Vancouver Island University’s women’s and men’s sides both went undefeated with a win and a tie against the Capilano Blues on Saturday and Sunday at NDSS Community Field.

The women won 2-0 on Saturday and then came back to earn a 2-2 tie Sunday. The men tied 2-2 in the season opener and then earned a 2-1 win in the next day’s rematch.

The Mariners women, defending PacWest champs, were “fairly happy” with the results, said coach Kevin Lindo, but he added there’s a lot more the team is capable of.

“We just didn’t get into our consistency this weekend,” Lindo said. “We kind of played in fits and starts and that’s because Capilano, they really do upset your rhythm, they’re good at what they do, they’re physical.”

The coach liked the resiliency his team showed in Sunday’s match after getting down 2-0. It might have been easy to accept losing at that point, he said, “but they didn’t,” they bought into a game plan and were almost able to win.

“That’s a huge positive out of that game, the character that we showed,” he said.

In Saturday’s win, Chloe Gummer and Karen Battie scored the goals and keeper Melanie Osborne earned the shutout. On Sunday it was Kanae Yamamoto and Gummer with the goals.

Lindo said he wants his forwards to be “ruthless” but at the same time, he hopes goals can come from everywhere this season so that the Mariners aren’t so heavily dependent on high-scoring Gummer. He said the M’s have a deep roster and want to take advantage of that as a team strength.

“The onus is on enhancing the style that we played last season,” he said. “And not just enhancing, but also being more adaptable. Adaptable to different opposition, adaptable to having a large squad and definitely having more competition within the team.”

Lindo said he hopes to get the community on board to support what he said is a “very hungry group” this season.

“We’ve got lofty goals and it has to be like that,” he said. “We’re still a young side but we’ve got ambitions to have success this season.”

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As for the Mariners men, they had success partly because of fast starts in both games. In the season-opening tie, Taylor Arbour and Travis Brown were the goal scorers and in the next day’s win, Hector Valdez and Shun Takano scored.

GAME ON … The Mariners soccer teams travel to play the Langara Falcons and Douglas Royals this coming weekend, Sept. 14-15. Next home action isn’t until Sept. 28-29.

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