Royals WSOC earn six points over weekend
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
Having faced the Quest Kermodes only two weeks ago, the image of their 1-1 draw was still burned into the minds of a hungry Royals squad. They had a chance to correct that memory on Saturday when they took on the Quest Kermodes in Squamish.
Despite the home-field advantage, the Royals manage to get off to good start. A foul in the box earned the team a penalty kick. Stepping up to the mark was Madison Hendry. Her first PK of the year turned into her first goal of the year as she went and ripped home the opening goal.
Following her up was the flamboyant Mikayla Hamilton. Hamilton struck home a shot just three minutes after to double the Royals’ lead and bag her first goal of the season. All of a sudden, the Kermodes were in some sort of trouble. They would go down to the other end and test the Royals but Nicole Scott, making her first PACWEST start, was a wall in front of the net. She made six stops in the first half alone to keep the Royals in front, 2-0, going into halftime.
Much like the first game, the second half saw both teams fizzle out into a draw with neither side able to do too much. The Royals controlled the pace of the game, occasionally prodding the Quest defence to see if there were any openings. Rikki Logan and the Kermodes kept the game where it was, but the Royals backline was able to do the same. After an exciting first half, the game drizzled out to a 2-0 win for the Royals.
The next day, they came home to take on the visiting VIU Mariners. Like any game against the Mariners, it was an exciting affair. Mikayla Hamilton drew first blood off of a through-ball. The speedy forward blitzed through the defensive line and found herself alone with VIU’s keeper, Alex DeMille. Hamilton blasted home the ball, celebrating emphatically as she raced into the arms of her teammates.
20 minutes later, the Royals found themselves with another opportunity to put themselves ahead. A deadly handball in the box saw the Royals on the mark. Captain Sam Kell stepped up and put the ball past a sprawling Alex DeMille. Set to go 2-0 into halftime, the Mariners found themselves spoiling the Royals halftime meeting. A cannon of a shot from fifth year Moira Brown got the Mariners on the board with seconds left in the half, 2-1.
After halftime, the Mariners came out a whole new team. They pressured the Royals the entire half, but the Royals found their game winner off another foul from the Mariners. A bump from a VIU defender jumping to contest a ball in the box sent the Royals to the mark once again. Sam Kell took her second penalty shot of the game and powered home the game insurance goal.
The Royals wouldn’t need that insurance as they would stall out the last 45 minutes of the game to win 3-1 over the VIU Mariners. The win, as well as the weekend, put the Royals at a record of 3-1-1, with 10 points. They currently sit at the top of the table, 4 points clear of the Capilano Blues and VIU Mariners, who sit tied for second with six points each. The Blues still have a game in-hand over the Royals. That match will be next week as they take on the Blues at home.