The Mariners’ women’s soccer team picked up a big victory at the PacWest provincial soccer championship, held October 25-26 in Squamish, capturing the gold medal. The Mariners came into the tournament the favourite to win, as the team’s 11-1-3 record gave them first place in the PacWest standings at the conclusion of the regular season.
VIU’s opponent in the gold medal game was the Langara Falcons. The game was played in very wet conditions, which made creating offense extremely difficult. The Mariners played a steady defensive game, not allowing the Falcons to mount any offense on the wet field. The Mariners took advantage of the biggest mistake during the match, a handball from a Langara defender inside the box, resulting in a VIU penalty kick. Samantha Rogers converted on the free shot, giving the Mariners a 1-0 lead, and providing all the offense in the match.
The Mariners managed to hang onto the 1-0 lead, keeping the Falcons’ offense grounded for the rest of the match. When the final whistle sounded, the Mariners were provincial champions, picking up the 1-0 victory.
The Mariners advanced to the championship game with a 1-0 victory in the semi-finals against the Kwantlen Eagles. The game was a tightly fought defensive affair, which stayed scoreless late into extra time. In extra time, Jillian Kelly scored the only goal of the game to give the Mariners the victory.
The Mariners now move on to the CCAA National Championships, which will be held November 5-8 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The Mariners come into the tournament as the third seed, and will open play against the host, the Medicine Hat Wranglers.