The VIU Mariners men’s soccer team won the CCAA nationals last weekend at home.

The VIU Mariners men’s soccer team won the CCAA nationals last weekend at home.

Host VIU wins national soccer championship

Comox Valley products Jeff Travis and and Jordan De Graaf were part of the VIU Mariners men’s soccer team that won the 2017 CCAA nationals last weekend on their home turf. Travis captained the team and De Graaf was named a tournament all-star.

On a rain soaked night in Nanaimo, the Mariners used an early first half goal and hung on for a 1-0 win over the Douglas Royals.

For just the second time in CCAA history, two teams from the same conference played for gold. It was a solid game between two conference rivals for the full 90 minutes. Stefan Cukovic capitalized on a miscue by the Royals back line as he chipped one over the outstretched hands of Ryo Mizuno to take the lead.

David Turkstra made two key saves in the first half, punching away a couple of crosses from being dangerous chances. Then it was time for the defence to shut it down.

There weren’t too many opportunities created by the Royals in the second half, as Travis and Ryan McCurdy cleared balls off the line.

VIU entered the championships on a host berth after a disappointing fourth-place result at the PACWEST championships, which the Royals won.