Women’s soccer takes first in the province
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
It was a historic finish for the Royals this weekend as the women’s team took first place in the PACWEST Conference for the first time in the history of Douglas College. The women tallied two 2-0 victories to cap off their wildly successful season with a berth at the CCAA National Championship.
The action started on Friday afternoon as the women took on the fourth place Kwantlen Eagles. The Royals started strong and found two goals early from Danae Harding and Nicolle Fraser. For the majority of the first half, the Royals outworked the Eagles, both on the field and in the air.
The Eagles came back swinging in the second half, constantly pressuring the Royals and limiting their opportunities. The defensive unit of the Royals was put to the test over and over again by the constant attack. With excellent play from goalkeeper Emmanuelle Langr, the Royals were able to walk away with a 2-0 victory. Nicolle Fraser was named the Player of the Game and the Royals found themselves in the rare position of playing their way into the history books.
After a good rest, the action picked back up on Saturday evening as the Royals prepared to play against the defending champions, Vancouver Island University (VIU). Right away, the game looked to be an exciting one as both teams traded possession back and forth. Neither team gained much ground on the other until the 26th minute of the game when a breakout from Marni McMillan resulted in a beautiful goal from Harding. From there, the Royals took a commanding stance over their opponent and dominated them for the rest of the first half. Very little made it past the defensive core of the Royals and what did was easily handled by goalkeeper Rebecca Mainardi, who made her triumphant return to the starting position.
The second half was very different for the defending champions, who saw their time of possession nearly sliced in half by the overwhelming skill of the Royals. The entire team played a very heavy contain style game, rarely allowing VIU out of their own half. This play resulted in Mikayla Hamilton scoring the insurance goal midway through the second half. From there on, VIU could not find a way to regain momentum as the Royals drove the ball into their half, over and over again. When they did get out, the chances were poor, or the ball was quickly retaken by the Royals.
When the final whistle blew, the entirety of the Royals team poured out of the bleachers and bench area to celebrate the victory. McMillan was named the Player of the Game, while Nicolle Fraser was named the Top Midfielder of the tournament, and Danae Harding was named the Tournament MVP.
Coach Chris Laxton commented, “We’ve come a long way since losing last year. I’m proud of all the girls who worked so hard to get back here and hit another goal… By the end of the season, we were thought of a two player team. Both those players stepped up and we didn’t concede. We’ve conceded 10 goals in 17 games so it’s a team effort.”
The women will now go on to Peterborough, Ontario to play in the National Championships from November 11-18.