Capilano Blues midfielder Demmi Skierka

Capilano Blues midfielder Demmi Skierka

VIU will contend at provincials

The VIU Mariners play in the Pacific Western Athletic Association soccer championships this weekend in Burnaby.

Vancouver Island University’s soccer teams showed they’re among the very best this season. But they don’t want to just be contenders, they want to be champions.

The VIU Mariners play in the Pacific Western Athletic Association championships this Friday and Saturday (Oct. 30-31) in Burnaby.

The women’s M’s are the No. 2 seed and will face the No. 3 Quest Kermodes in the semifinals.

“If we come to play and we play our game and we’re focused, I think we’ll be all right,” said Anup Kang, coach of the VIU women. “Quest is a very good team. We always have close games against them.”

The key to the game, he said, will be pressuring the opponent to try to create turnovers.

“We’re an experienced team and Quest has got some young players and that’s what we’re going to try and take advantage of,” Kang said.

The Mariners are defending provincial champions, but the coach said his players aren’t looking ahead to a hypothetical gold-medal match yet.

“They’re a veteran group,” Kang said. “We’re totally focused on Quest, not beyond that, and if we do get there, we’ll cross that bridge at that time.”

VIU’s attack is led by Jill Kelly, who finished fourth in the conference with five goals this season.

As for the Mariners men, they also earned a No. 2 seed and will face the Capilano Blues in the semis.

VIU’s offence is led by Andres Algarin, who was second in the PacWest with six goals this season. Goalkeeper Scott Brown led the loop with a goals-against average of 0.52.

GAME ON … VIU’s women play Quest at 12:30 p.m. Friday and VIU’s men play Cap at 3 p.m. The matches are at Burnaby Lakes turf fields.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com