The Mariner men fell just short in their bid for the provincial soccer championship. The team made it to the gold medal game, but fell to the Douglas Royals 2-1 in penalty kicks at the provincial soccer championships held October 25 and 26 in Squamish.
The gold medal match featured the top two teams in the league. The Mariners finished the regular season with a record of 10-3-2, good for first place in the PacWest standings. Douglas finished the season in second place with a record of 8-3-4. The game was a battle of wills, as both teams were exhausted, playing their third games of the weekend.
The Royals controlled the play in the game’s first half. After a foul on the Mariners resulted in a penalty kick, Nicolas Pineda-Graham scored to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. The score stayed that way until the second half, when the Mariners got a penalty kick of their own after Renan Rebelatto was brought down in the box. Victor Blasco converted on the penalty kick, tying the game 1-1.
The game stayed tied throughout the remainder of regulation time. When neither team could find the back of the net during extra time, the game was heading to a shootout. But unfortunately the Mariners couldn’t complete the comeback as the Royals won the shootout 4-3, winning the provincial gold medal.
It was a shootout victory that allowed the Mariners to advance to the finals. VIU picked up a 3-2 victory over the Quest Kermodes that gave the Mariners a chance to play in the championship game. Blaze Roberts and Blasco scored for the Mariners in the victory.
Despite the loss in the gold medal game, the Mariners’ season is not over. With the semi-final victory over Quest, the Mariners booked their spot in the CCAA National Championship, which will be held November 5-8 in Oakville, Ontario.