MSOC prepare for tough week ahead
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
Last week’s thrilling win over the Capilano Blues is still fresh in the minds of many. It could be the spark that lights a fire in the belly of many, or it could be the inspiration that complacency thrives off of. Week three of the PACWEST soccer season will help answer that question.
For the most part, the Royals have been a pretty messy team. Their youth has definitely shown, and problems have been a common occurrence. But for their young team, those sorts of learning pains are good signs. Defensively, the line has begun to click. The back four, under the organization of captain Nawaf Binsaleh, has looked better and better each game. Against the PACWEST’s most potent one-two punch offense, they shined. Now they have the chance to face up against the PACWEST’s strongest overall offense in the VIU Mariners. Their role is vital if they want to beat the Mariners at home.
Another factor for the Royals this weekend is Race Williams. After bagging his first goal of the season off a penalty against Capilano, Williams will be looking to turn the jets on. So far, he’s struggled to be the prolific goal scorer that his team has needed him to be. The “Sophomore Struggle” is a reason that comes to mind but I think it’s a bigger problem that alludes to a lack of leadership up top. Last year, with Issac Kyei running the offense, Williams just had to be in the right position to shoot and the ball would get there to him. This year, he has no set-up man. It’ll be interesting to see if time will help the problem, or make it worse as the situation gets more and more frustrating.
Looking on the other side, it’s easy to see how this week could be intimidating. The Quest Kermodes have been a mixed bag so far this season. When they’re good, they play a very possession heavy game that suffocates their opponent. When they’re bad, they get torn apart on the field. It’s really depends on which team shows up on Saturday.
The VIU Mariners, on the other hand, have been the team to beat this season. 3 straight dominant wins to start the season, including a 7-0 thrashing of the Langara Falcons, has been the story so far. Though they were just handed a 2-0 loss by the Capilano Blues, I can’t imagine it’s made them any softer. If anything, they’re going to be hungry to bounce back when they play the Royals on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on Cunnings Field.
It’s going to be a tight one. The Royals could finish the week with two hard earned points. They could end up with three. Or they could end up with zero in the worst situation. It’s actually too close to make an estimate. Guess you’ll have to come out and see what happens!