The team finishes week one atop of the PACWEST
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
Expectations have never been higher for the Royals women’s soccer team. With a twelve-game regular season, it is important to get off on the right foot (or left foot, whatever you would prefer). After their season opener was postponed due to air quality, the Royals had the opportunity to start their season at home against the Quest Kermodes.
Unfortunately for both parties, the weather wasn’t kind to them. Rain for the first time in two months dampened Vancouver, as well as the teams’ match. The rain would make for an ultimately sloppy affair for both the Royals and the Kermodes. In a game where the Royals recruiting class shined, it was rookie Caitlyn Limmayog-Danielson who struck first, smoothly netting her first of the year—and her career.
The lead would not last, however, as the Kermodes’ Kelsey Green slammed home a screamer from 20 yards out that was just out of the hands of the Royals keeper Alexa Gazzola. With that, the teams took the 1-1 game into halftime. The second half was dry in play but not in weather. As the rain poured in, neither team could find a way past the opposing backline.
The Royals had a couple of chances, but could not convert on the slippery ball. After 90 minutes, the score settled at a 1-1 tie. Although the result was less than desired, the play was fantastic. The Royals looked threatening in all aspects of the field, playing a fluid 4-2-3-1. Although they didn’t get the three points they were looking for, they looked quite in form heading into their gold medal rematch against the VIU Mariners.
Against the reigning PACWEST champions, the Royals really showed up. Captains, and midfield duo Samantha Kell and Michelle Wessa, had themselves quite the day. Wessa bagged the first goal, scoring 19 minutes into the game to give the Royals the head start that they wanted. 20 minutes later, Samantha Kell would put her scoring touch on the game, bagging a second for her team before the half-time mark.
Determined to get back into the game, the Mariners powered into the second half. A breakaway looked to be an assured goal before Royals keeper Alexa Gazzola robbed them of their comeback. Kell would tack on another shortly after, burying the final nail into the Mariners coffin. It was a dominant performance overall from the Royals, whose 3-0 rout of the Mariners must have been rather satisfying.
The win and tie put them at the top of the table at the end of week one with four points. They are trailed by the Langara Falcons, who registered two ties this weekend to pick up two points. The rest of the pack sit atop one point pillars, a win behind the Royals. It’s worth noting that the Royals do have a game in hand over two of the teams in the PACWEST.