VIU’s soccer teams ended the regular season with wins and good feelings going into playoffs.
Vancouver Island University’s women’s and men’s soccer sides both shut out the Quest Kermodes on Sunday at Merle Logan Field to conclude PacWest play. The Mariners women won their match 4-0 and the men followed up with a 1-0 victory.
“We played excellent,” said Anup Kang, coach of the Mariners women. “We’re building towards the playoffs and what we’ve asked the girls to do is just keep the momentum going moving forward.”
Katie Rodgers, Kaylee Dodds, Carli Rey and Maddy Dawson scored for the home team Sunday. The day before, the Mariners ladies shut out the Capilano Blues 2-0 with Karen Battie and Moira Brown scoring. Kang has liked his team’s finishing ability of late.
“We’ve had those chances all year, it’s just that we’ve taken them better in the last number of games here,” he said.
The coach said his team doesn’t let up in matches.
“Early on in the year we would get leads and we’d lose our focus a little bit,” said Kang. “What we’ve done in the last number of games is that we’ve respected the teams that we play a little bit more so we’ve stayed focused more for the 90 minutes.”
Dodds liked her team’s well-rounded play on the final weekend of the season.
“We’re just playing for each other more and we all have each others’ backs…” she said. “We’re defending together as a team, so if one person loses it, the other person’s right behind them to get it back.”
She was one of four graduating players from her team honoured Sunday in a post-game ceremony and presented with a framed jersey and flowers. Other graduating fifth years include Rey, Jill Kelly and Emily Rowbotham. Also recognized were Solana Ashe, another graduating player, and Rachel Jones, who will be transferring out of province.
The Mariners men honoured two graduating fifth years – Mateo Kostering and A.J. Kambere – before their win against Quest. Taylor Arbour scored the only goal of the game.
The day before, the M’s men lost 4-1 to the Capilano Blues after getting red-carded within the first five minutes and playing the rest of the afternoon down a man. Niko Cristante was VIU’s only goal scorer. Notably, VIU’s star player Victor Blasco suffered a season-ending foot injury.
GAME ON … Both VIU Mariners soccer teams finish second in their respective PacWest tables and will play at provincial championships starting Friday (Oct. 28) in Burnaby. The Mariners men (7-4-1) will face the Douglas Royals and the M’s women (5-2-5) will face the Langara Falcons. Look for a playoff preview later this week in the News Bulletin.