Douglas College men’s soccer in 2017
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
To say that the men’s soccer team has shattered all expectations would be an understatement. Headed into the 2017 season, the men were slated to struggle in the PACWEST… and they did.
The men finished third in the PACWEST with a record of 5-5-2, nearly .500. Nothing astounding. However, the team had a fighting spirit that was nearly impossible to match. The squad didn’t draw any attention for fine play but swept the league, awards-wise.
Tomi Fagopngbe took home the PACWEST Rookie of the Year award, making it the second year in a row a Royals player has taken home the award. Nawaf Binsaleh, Quinn Dawson, and Tetsuya Yoshinaga won All-Star awards for their contributions to the regular season.
A wonderful PACWEST Championships performance saw the Royals lifting the trophy despite being underdogs. They took that drive and fighting spirit to the CCAA National Championships, and were narrowly defeated at the gold medal game. They took home silver, and all of this while being major underdogs.
How did they do this? Well, a little of bit luck goes a long way. The Royals pulled off something that is so rarely seen. They peaked at the right moment. When the Royals needed to win, they were playing some of their best soccer. Sure, their season would have ended if they lost to the Capilano Blues in the PACWEST semi-finals, but it didn’t because they were playing fantastic football.
Now all that is left for them is the follow-up. Success was never on the plate this year, but delivered to them on the backs of talented fifth-year international players. Essentially loans. They won’t be here next year, and it’s up to head coaches Robby and Paul to figure out what next year looks like.
They’ll be hard pressed to find talent though. With Ryo Mizuno and Tetsuya Yoshinaga finishing their careers, it’s likely they’ll look to the international markets once again. In the backfield, if the team can lockdown a couple of players, they’ll be set. However, the midfield and up front are more questionable.
Quinn Dawson has had another excellent year. It’ll be no surprise if his services have attracted the interest of bigger teams. He will be a key player for the team to ensure returns next year.
Race Williams may have had a rocky sophomore year, but is still an excellent technical player and has taken big steps for the Royals’ offence this year. Rumour has it that Williams is being looked into by bigger schools. While losing him will be a blow for the Royals, they have the manpower to fill in his spot, but to say that they can replace him would be purely false. Locking down Williams should be a priority, if the rumours are true.
No matter how you look at it, next year will be very different for the Royals. But they can be happy with this year, and celebrate their two medals. After all, winning anything is a huge accomplishment.