Comox Valley-raised Chloe Gummer is a fourth-year forward on the VIU Mariners women’s soccer team. File photo

Gummer and Mariners hope to defend PacWest title

Chloe Gummer and Justine McMahon are again expected play pivotal roles this season for the VIU Mariners women’s soccer team.

Products of the Upper Island Riptide program, both forwards, were part of last year’s squad that won the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PacWest) league and championship, and that placed fifth at the national collegiate tournament.

Gummer scored the first, and game-winning, goal in the 2-0 PacWest final over Capilano University. The fourth-year student was named top forward at the tournament. The graduate of Highland Secondary was also named PacWest player-of-the-year, and earned an all-Canadian honour at the CCAA Championships.

“The team has been doing well in pre-season, we’ve had some decent results and are working better together with every game we play,” said Gummer, who has another season of playing eligibility after this one. “We’ve been getting lots of great recruits and have some talented prospects for next year, so it should be an exciting last couple of seasons.”

Goalkeeper Cassidy Chamberlin of the Comox Valley is also returning to the squad.

“She has had a great pre-season,” Mariners head coach Kevin Lindo said of Chamberlin. “We also have taken on Kylea Knubley, as a reserve, from the Valley, and Taylor Kinley from Powell River, who is looking like she will have an awesome first year.”

Despite the team’s success at the provincial level, Gummer was disappointed with the fifth-place result at nationals.

“We had a couple of good games, with one 5-0 win in the tournament,” she said. “We’re still hoping to improve on that and hopefully make the podium this year.”

The Mariners opened the season at home with a doubleheader against Capilano over the weekend, coming away with four points. The Ms won Saturday’s season-opener, 2-0, then played to a 2-2 draw Sunday.

Gummer scored the game-winning goal Saturday in the 75th minute.

The Mariners came back from a 2-0 deficit at the half for Sunday’s draw.

Gummer scored the game-tying goal, in the 62nd minute.

Chamberlin played the first half in goal, allowing two goals on six shots.

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