Comox Valley striker Chloe Gummer of the VIU Mariners women’s soccer team scored the game-winning goal in the final of the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PacWest) championship. The team defended its provincial collegiate title with a 6-1 win over the Capilano Blues, Oct. 26 in Burnaby.
“Chloe worker tirelessly in the first half to create chances, so she certainly deserved that goal,” Mariners coach Kevin Lindo said. “Was an excellent finish on the edge of the area.”
Gummer, the league’s leading goal scorer, duplicated her feat in last year’s final when she scored first in a 2-0 PacWest final victory, again over Capilano.
The Blues — who finished third in the regular season with a 5-5-2 record — handed the 8-1-3 Mariners their only loss of the season.
“We went almost the entire season undefeated, but then lost 1-0 to Capilano during our final weekend of games,” said Gummer, who played with the Upper Island Riptide while growing up in Comox. “It would have been great to go undefeated until the end, but it made the provincial win more exciting.”
By winning provincials, the Mariners again advance to the CCAA national championship Nov. 6-9 in Edmonton. Last year, the squad placed fifth in the country.
“We have higher hopes for the outcome this year compared to last year,” Gummer said. “We had a more successful season all around this year, so hopefully that will help us in the tournament.”
Lindo feels the team is deeper this year, both on and off the field.
“Which is certainly the team’s foundation,” he said. “We’re heading to nationals more ambitious and prepared than we were last year when everything was very new to most of us, including me.”
Along with Gummer, fellow Riptide alumnus Justine McMahon is also a key member of the Mariners. The second-year forward scored a game-winning goal over Capilano University in September.
“Justine’s season was really coming together with a few key goals, then she picked up a knee injury in league play, but we hope to have her available at nationals,” Lindo said.
The Mariners are the number five seed heading into nationals. They kicked off the tournament Wednesday against the fourth-ranked Seneca Sting.