A fishy finish
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
Going into this weekend, nothing was on the minds of the men’s soccer team more than revenge. The team had a chance to redeem themselves this weekend against their week one loss to the VIU Mariners on home turf. Now the visiting team, the Royals were more than eager to play the spoiling role.
As per standard, the Royals started the game on the up. Pressuring the Mariners with concise passing and controlled aggression, the team made themselves known to the VIU crowd around the 22-minute mark. One of the Royals specialties is set pieces, and the Mariners gifted a beautiful look on a bad tackle that gave the team a free kick. Set-piece expert Mark Baldisimo stepped up to take the shot and launched a gorgeous looker that had the entire Royals bench on their feet. The cheering would ensue shortly after as the ball sailed past an astonished Mariner’s goalkeeper, and gave the team the lead that they so eagerly desired.
While the VIU team questioned the decision to gift a free kick, they kept their lips tight when the referee gifted a very questionable early shower to a Royal. A straight red card saw the Royals limited to 10 men, but the team held their lead until half time.
Despite being outnumbered, the Royals were determined to show the Mariners that they were definitely not outgunned. Coming out in the second half, the team showed that the best defence was a solid offence. No other play highlighted the Royals’ individual skill better than rookie forward Race Williams’ fantastic strike halfway through the second. On the counter attack, Williams dribbled his way through three defenders and juked out the goalkeeper to slam home the Royals’ second of the game.
With a safe lead, the Royals sat back and let the Mariners barrage them with pressure. However, stalwart was the Royals defence, and the Mariners only barely managed to tuck one away in the dying breathes of the second half. That goal was all the team could settle for as the visiting Royals brushed off the man disadvantage and stole a game from their island rivals.
The next day saw them on the road again against the Quest Kermodes. Fresh off an eight day break, the Kermodes spent the entire week preparing to take on the best of the Royals. However, the best of the Royals never showed up. Some of them got lost in traffic, while others were left on the Island. At least, that’s what the team looked like on the field. The Kermodes struck quick and savagely, scoring in the opening 15 minutes. They would tuck another one away for the quick double volley, and suddenly the Royals found themselves on the back-heel. The Kermodes would push the visiting team over completely by finishing a third goal before heading off into half time.
Safe to say, coaches Robby and Paul were not too happy about the team’s play. The team got more than an earful from their coaches and set about the second half looking to right the opening half. The Royals would eventually get there with Quinn Dawson tucking away a header off a set piece to bring the team that much closer. However, his tally would be in vain as all it would do was deny the Kermodes a clean sheet. The team would walk away from the game with a score of 3–1 for the Kermodes, and three points from the weekend.