Both of Vancouver Island University’s soccer teams were goal-getters to start the season.
The VIU Mariners men’s and women’s sides both won their first B.C. Colleges’ Athletic Association regular-season games Saturday in North Vancouver against the Capilano Blues. Both games finished with 3-1 scores.
In the first contest, the Blues women struck first, scoring the only goal of the first half even though the Mariners controlled most of the play.
Emma Johansson subbed in at halftime and made an immediate impact, scoring twice to give her team the lead. Caity Genereaux added an insurance marker.
“We stayed focused and it was a matter of time before we scored,” said Anup Kang, Mariners coach, in a press release. “Emma has improved every day during pre-season; real happy to see her get the two goals.”
He also mentioned that goalkeeper Shelby Walker made a great save just before halftime to keep the game in reach for VIU.
The men’s Mariners took the pitch right after and were pressured in the early stages of the game by Capilano, surrendering the opening goal on a close-range shot.
Coach Bill Merriman said in a press release that Cap’s goal was a “wake-up call” for his VIU team, which responded right away.
The Mariners’ first goal of the season was a strange one, as Matt Mehrassa made a long throw in that skipped off a defender’s head for an own-goal. Striker Jared Stephens then scored goals two minutes apart later in the first half to give the visitors an insurmountable lead.
The M’s had to finish the game with 10 men after Ben Leggett was red-carded on a call the team disagreed with.
“The Mariners managed to keep their composure and adjusted to playing with 10 men,” Merriman said. “The Mariners were full marks for their win.”
GAME ON … Next action for VIU’s soccer teams is this Saturday (Sept. 17) when the M’s hold their home openers at Mariner Field against the Douglas Royals. The women take the pitch at 1 p.m. followed by the men at 3 p.m. On Sunday, VIU faces Kwantlen at noon and 2 p.m. at Mariner Field … The News Bulletin published season preview articles on both soccer teams last week. The stories can still be accessed here and here.