The VIU Mariners will be happy to have a fresh start in the standings and will look for a clean sheet every time they take the field.
Vancouver Island University’s men’s soccer team returned to the pitch for their first pre-season game Sunday at Merle Logan Field and tied the Peninsula Pirates 0-0.
“I think we did all right, to be honest,” said Larry Stefanek, Mariners coach. “We didn’t create enough going forward … we actually defended quite well, just a little scrambly there at times, but we kept a clean sheet, which is really important.”
After a season in which the Mariners missed the PacWest playoffs, the team is looking to address certain areas of the pitch.
“We just conceded too many goals last year as a team, so we’ve tried to address those areas,” Stefanek said. “Time will tell. We’re still incredibly young. It’s going to be all about building.”
Checked out some exhibition soccer today. VIU Mariners tied 0-0 with Peninsula. Pace looked good for a pre-season game. Looking forward to PacWest sports seasons… pic.twitter.com/V7HmKBH82b
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) August 11, 2019
The coach said the focus at this time of year is on taking care of the back end because he thinks the team has guys who can score, even if it didn’t happen in the first pre-season game.
Stefanek said one thing he’s seen already is that the guys have shown a great attitude.
“They’re really willing to take it in and it seems to be a very cohesive group this year, which is good,” said the coach. “We’re going to try and make small steps and build from the bottom.”
GAME ON … The VIU men have road games in Victoria this week against U-Sports-level opponents the UNBC Timberwolves and the UVic Vikes. The PacWest season starts Sept. 7.