VIU Mariners players Nick Moore

VIU Mariners players Nick Moore

VIU soccer willing to work up a sweat

Vancouver Island University's men's and women's soccer teams play their home openers Saturday (Sept. 14) at Merle Logan Field.

The Vancouver Island University Mariners men’s soccer program has proven to be a perennial contender. The challenge is to stay at that level.

This year’s VIU Mariners (1-1) make their home debut Saturday (Sept. 14) at Merle Logan Field after splitting against UBC-Okanagan and Thompson Rivers this past weekend.

The M’s are working to rebuild their core. Coach Bill Merriman said this year reminds him of his first year with the program.

The difference now, perhaps, is that VIU has a national reputation. It attracts top recruits and it expects to win.

“They come with that kind of hope,” said Merriman. “Whether it happens, well, in our league you never know.”

The returnees include Chris Arnett, Dan Cato, Jamie Taylor, Mateo Kostering, Nick Moore and Blaze Roberts. Farhad Abdulgani, Renan Rebelatto, Keegan Lang and Miguel Banting are some of the newcomers who are expected to make an impact.

Merriman said he’s been impressed with the work ethic players have shown.

“We dress in the jersey and we’re going for it,” Rebelatto said. “[In] soccer you never know if you’re going to win or not but at least we’re going to go and sweat the jersey.”

Already on the eve of the season, he said the players were a family, ready to play for each other and work toward their common goal. To achieve that goal, they’ll have to win a lot of games against a lot of good teams in an ever-improving PacWest conference.

“This league, it keeps getting better and better, every team, and this year is no different,” Merriman said. “With us rebuilding it’s going to be interesting. I think we can compete, for sure, it’s just a matter of how quickly we can get everybody working together and getting up to that pace.”

Last weekend the M’s started with a 4-2 win over UBCO before falling 4-2 to TRU. Nick Moore and Keegan Lang scored in both games and Abdulgani and David Durrant had VIU’s other markers.

The M’s play the Langara Falcons on Saturday at 3 p.m. and take on the Quest Kermodes on Sunday at 2 p.m. Both games are at Merle Logan Field.

VIU women will play focused soccer

Vancouver Island University’s women’s soccer team knows how important every minute of the match can be.

The team will keep that in mind as it plays its home opener Saturday (Sept. 14) at Merle Logan Field.

Coach Anup Kang said the team didn’t do as well as it might have last season because it would play 88 or 89 good minutes and have a lapse.

“So we’ve been really harping on this group of playing a full 90 minutes consistently,” he said.

Becky Weiss, veteran player, said part of that comes down to confidence.

“We all have really good skill, but it’s when we doubt ourselves that we stop playing,” she said. “As long as we’re all confident and we realize that we can take that touch and play the ball we’ll get into the game that focus will come with that.”

She said the team as a whole pressures really well and doesn’t settle for losing the ball.

“We have a lot of hard workers and people who are ready to dig to get that ball back,” she said.

Samantha Rodgers, Jessica Burma, Sarah Meredith, Rachel Jones, Jessie Weninger, Caity Genereaux, Emma Johannson and Shelby Walker are some of the returning players and Moira Brown, Kaylee Dodds and Amanda Dodds are some of the newcomers who will contribute.

The M’s women lost to UBC-Okanagan 2-1 and then lost 3-1 to Thompson Rivers last weekend. Walker and Kaylee Dodds scored goals.

The VIU ladies take on the Langara Falcons on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Merle Logan Field and then host the Quest Kermodes on Sunday at noon, also at Merle Logan.

Just Posted

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Tilray announces new line of products offering more inexpensive choices for medical cannabis users. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo-based Tilray launches new medical cannabis product line

Symbios brand products offered at ‘better price point’ for medical cannabis products

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

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

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read