It wasn’t the ending to the season they had hoped for, as the Mariners’ women’s soccer team ended the season with a sixth place finish at the CCAA National Championships, which were held in Medicine Hat November 5-8.
The Mariners opened the tournament on a positive note, picking up a victory in their first game of the tournament against the host Medicine Hat Rattlers. VIU came out firing, and led 3-0 after the first half on goals by Madeline Dawson, Bronte Fitzsimmons, and Zoe Grace. Samantha Rogers scored the lone goal of the second half, giving the Mariners a 4-0 win to open the tournament.
The Mariners’ next game was against the Garneau Elans. Despite a valiant effort from the Mariners, it was Garneau that picked up the victory by a 4-0 score. With the victory , Garneau advanced to the gold medal game.
VIU was back in action the next day, this time against the Seneca String, with the winner moving on to play in the bronze medal game. After Seneca opened the scoring early, the Mariners responded on a penalty kick from Bronte Fitzsimmons to tie the game 1-1.
The game remained tied at 1-1 until early in the second half, when Seneca struck again, taking a 2-1 lead. Carli Rey tied the game for the Mariners 10 minutes later, tying the score 2-2. The game stayed through the rest of the second half and extra time, sending the game to a shootout. Unfortunately for the Mariners, it was the Sting who picked up the victory in the shootout, ensuring that VIU would be denied a medal at the tournament.
The Mariners played one final game in the tournament against the other PacWest team in the tournament, the Langara Falcons. The Mariners, playing their fourth game of the tournament, couldn’t muster any offense in the final game of their season as they fell to the Falcons by a final score of 3-0.
The sixth place finish at nationals caps off a successful season for the Mariners, as the team captured the PacWest provincial championship. The Mariners also finished the regular season as the best team in the PacWest with a record of 11-1-3.