By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
When experts debate over which teams in the PACWEST are truly elite, two teams are always in the discussion: The VIU Mariners and the Douglas College Royals. This week of action saw both teams butt heads in an epic battle.
The last time these two giants met, they raked up a total of 10 goals between the two of them. The match resulted in a tie, but the goals scored were the real highlight. Since then, the Royals have gone on to win one game and tie their other, while the Mariners has yet to win or lose a game, tying up every time they played.
The Mariners would establish the tempo of the game right from the start. Catching the Royals on a slow start, the Mariners would tuck away three goals in the first 15 minutes, sending a stunned Chantalle Bracken into dismay. Stunned and disorganized, the team would re-rally and find a way to climb back onto the scoreboard with a wonderful goal from rookie defender Mary Allworth. They would take the 3-1 score line into half time, where Coach Chris Laxton made some tactical changes to his struggling squad. Goalkeeper Chantalle Bracken, whose shaky start was heavily exploited by the Mariners, was replaced by Alexa Gazzola. The change was just the highlight of the few Laxton made to stabilize stabilize the squad.
It worked as planned, but not quite to key. The team stabilized in the second half, not allowing a goal. However, they also failed to get on the board themselves, and would fall to the Mariners, 3–1.
The next day, the team travelled to the interior valley to play against the Quest Kermodes, and hoped to find a win there. The Kermodes, which had the Saturday off, prepped for the Royals’ flamboyant offence, and the team could find little in the first half of play. However, the Kermodes offense also struggle to tuck a shot behind Royals goalkeeper Gazzola, who got the start for her team.
It wouldn’t be until late in the second half that the Kermodes broke the game open with a devastating shot from just outside the penalty box. Gazzola got a hand on the shot, but it wasn’t enough to drive it away from the netting as the Kermodes drew first blood. With the game on the line, Andrea Perrotta would find a way to just barely tie it in injury time with a beautiful finish.
The goal could not have been timelier, as the whistle blew for the end of the game just after her play. The team would end the game 1–1, and walk away with the point. It would be the only point the team grabbed, as they finished the weekend 0-1-1.