Royals win 2-0
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
It was a beautiful day for soccer on Sunday (October 4) when the women’s soccer team took to the pitch. They looked to bounce back against the Capilano Blues after a tough loss to VIU the day before. That loss was just the second this season in a start which has DC at the top of the table. Capilano, on the other hand, has had a rough go of it. Coming into the game, the Blues held a record of 1-6-1, occupying the bottom of the table.
However, for a bottom of the table team, Capilano played some very good soccer. The first half was filled with tight competition as neither team found the back of the net. The Royals had several opportunities but none were finished. The Blues also had several strong breakout opportunities but the Royals’ goalkeeper, Rebecca Mainardi, was more than up to the challenge and made a couple of saves that kept her team in the game early.
The battle was mainly fought in the air, where the taller midfielders of the Royals failed to take advantage and gave up several chances to the hard driving Blues. The Royals’ head coach Chris Laxton was quick to make his displeasure with the team’s lack of effort heard. Midway through the first half he made a surprise substitution, taking Jordan Teves out and putting Mikayla Hamilton in. When asked about his decision, Coach Laxton said he made the substitution to “bring more pace and energy to the team.”
During halftime, the coaching staff of the Royals emphasized aggression and having a stronger presence in the air. They looked to bring some life into an otherwise dreary looking team.
The Royals responded well to their coaches and came out in the second half looking strong. They dominated the Blues in terms of possession and reigned in control of the air game. The stellar defensive play of the Royals kept them in the Blues half of the field for the majority of the rest of the game.
Their aggression was eventually rewarded when Marni McMillan forced a turnover and threaded a beautiful pass in between two Blues defenders to send Danae Harding on a short break. Harding made no mistake against the Blues’ goalkeeper and slotted a shot into the lower corner for the finish.
Later in the game, a routine cross by Nicolle Fraser and a misplay by the Blues’ goalkeeper resulted in the insurance goal, bringing the Royals to 2-0. The Blues, although contained in their own half for most of the second, had a few opportunities. A couple stellar saves by the Royals’ keeper allowed them to cruise to a solid victory.
Royals’ coach Chris Laxton took a couple questions after the game. When asked about what he thought about his team’s effort in the second half he responded: “I think we bounced back from a first half where we were letting them dominate the centre midfield and didn’t really give them much after that … We kept pushing at them.”
He was also asked about what he thought about his team’s strong start to the season. To this he responded, “It’s how we finish at the end of October [that matters]. It’s been a good start … I think we put ourselves in a pretty good position for playoffs and to really be able to look ahead … We’re just making sure we get better every game.”
With the win the women’s team split the weekend 1-1, and now find themselves on top of the table for another week with a record of 7-2 with 21 points, 5 more than the team below them.