Women’s Soccer dreams big after preseason
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
Last year was a fantastic season for the Douglas College Royals women’s soccer team. After a tough silver medal loss to the VIU Mariners, the girls bounced back at the CCAA National Championships, capturing the program’s first medal when they won bronze. This year, they’ve got the leprechaun’s greed in their eyes—double gold.
They stand a good chance of achieving their goals, or at least one of them. The Royals are the favourite to take the PACWEST Gold this year. With much of their Bronze medal roster returning from last year, the team is constantly improving—which means a lot in this league.
In terms of competition, the Royals biggest rivals will likely be the VIU Mariners, or the Langara Falcons. The Mariners are coming back to the season without their award-winning head coach. With a new coach and a new system to play under, the team could struggle in the coming year. There is also a chance that they could flourish under new direction, though at this point, it’s a toss-up. However, one thing is certain: VIU is a quality team with solid players. New coach or not, the team should finish in the top three, at least.
The Langara Falcons were a fearsome force early last year before their late season collapse. They too have a new coach; one not too unfamiliar to Royals fans. Langara Falcons legend and former Royals assistant coach Rae Pelat will be leading the Falcons. However, the same concepts apply to them as well. A new coach means new strategies and formations. It may just take another year for the Falcons to truly become a powerhouse team… or Pelat may just be the inspiration her team needs to really contest in the PACWEST.
In relation to the Royals, the Falcons are still a bit far off. It will all be sorted out on the September 6, when the Royals open up their season against the Falcons.
Mikayla Hamilton is returning as a striking force, and she is set for a record-setting third year. Alexa Gazzola will be backstopping the team as she returns to finish what she started last year. Running the midfield will be Samantha Kell and Michelle Wessa, who provide the perfect combination of offence and defence.
Unfortunately, it seems that PACWEST Player of the Year Andrea Perrotta will be out for an extended period of time with an undisclosed injury, however it opens up a position for a hungry rookie, or even a veteran looking to fight their way back into the starting 11. Even with Perrotta gone, the Royals have an exciting roster that can compete on the highest levels. If there was any team to watch during the PACWEST Soccer season, this would be the one.