Women’s and men’s teams both clinch first seed
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
It has been quite the dramatic season for both Royals soccer teams this year. Coming into this season, almost no one could say with confidence that both squads would take first place in the regular season, yet as the season comes to a close, that is exactly where both teams stand.
For both teams, having the best regular season record is but a step towards the goal of winning provincials. Nonetheless, both teams should be proud of the effort and skill that they have displayed so far.
The women’s team clinched first seed on Saturday after a thrilling 3-0 win over Vancouver Island University (VIU). Both Danae Harding and Marni McMillan chipped in to cap off their stellar seasons. They co-lead the league with 9 goals in 15 games, sweeping away the rest of the competition. Much of the team’s success has come at the hands of these two’s finishing prowess.
But no one can talk about the women’s success without talking about the spectacular play of goalkeeper Rebecca Mainardi and the defensive unit in front of her. Mainardi has been amazing for the Royals, tallying 7 shutouts in 13 games. Likewise, the defensive core of the Royals has been outstanding. The team has been able to keep the number of goals allowed to 10 goals in 15 games.
The women end their season with a record of 10-3-2, with three points separating them from VIU. They play the Kwantlen Eagles next week in the playoffs.
Much like the women, the men’s team has also had much success in their season. They also clinched their spot at the top of the table this weekend. They played a hard game against VIU on Saturday and drew a tie. A loss by VIU on Sunday secured the Royals the first seed going into playoffs.
Isaac Kyei led the team in goals with 6 in 15 games, which kept him among the league leaders. The Royals also had two other players amongst the top 13 scorers in the conference; Yassin Essa had four goals in the season and Nicholas Pineda Graham had three.
Like the women, the men also had a strong defensive unit. Both goaltenders had remarkable seasons for the Royals, with Mark Mincieli being one of the best in the conference. They allowed 15 goals in 15 games, keeping an average of 1 goal a game in a conference where offence reigned supreme.
The men end their season with a record of 7-3-5 and 26 points. They are tied in points with VIU but due to an earlier win during the season between the both teams, the Royals take the first seed. They look to play KPU next week during the playoffs.