The Vancouver Island University Mariners women’s soccer team finished seventh at the eight-team Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championships, held Nov. 9-12 in Montreal.
The Nanaimo squad won one of three games, with Comox’s Chloe Gummer making herself right at home on the national stage in the M’s final match. VIU started with a 1-0 loss to the host Indiennes d’Ahuntsic on Wednesday, fell 2-1 to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Ooks on Thursday, then finished with a 4-1 victory over the Holland Hurricanes on Saturday.
“A lot of people here have been talking about it – a break here and there, we could have just as easily been playing in the final today,” said Anup Kang, Mariners’ coach. “The teams that were in our group are going to end up first or second, third and fourth at the national championships and we were right there with them.”
The tournament opener was 0-0 most of the way through and was evenly played.
“We had four or five really quality chances, but their keeper came up big and we hit the post,” Kang said. “Any one of those goes in and it’s a different ball game.”
The next day, the Ooks took it to the M’s early and built a 2-0 lead. The Mariners switched up their formation at halftime, though, and got an early goal in the second half from Kaylee Dodds to get back in it.
“After that, we had a number of chances to equalize, unfortunately it just didn’t happen for us,” said Kang.
In VIU’s final match, the women played a great game from the opening whistle until the final whistle, the coach said, controlling the play and maintaining possession.
Gummer, a freshman forward, opened the scoring in the fourth minute of play. Nicole Foglietta increased the lead in the 14th minute before Holland hit the scoresheet in the 20th minute on a penalty shot.
Gummer restored the three-goal lead with her second of the game in the 40th minute and completed the hat-trick in the dying seconds of the first half to earn Player of the Game honours for VIU.
“These girls, every time they put on that shirt, they had pride and they’re honoured to be wearing that VIU Mariners top and today was no different…” said Kang. “I’m really proud of our veteran players, they showed great leadership and kept the girls focused. They really wanted it and unfortunately it didn’t happen, but you know what? They went out on a really positive note.”
THROW INS Elans de Garneau defeated Indiennes d’Ahuntsic 3-1 in the gold medal game to win their third straight national title … other Player of the Game honours for the Mariners went to Harroop Malli and Dodds … fourth-year forward Katie Rodgers of Courtenay is the other half of the Mariners’ Comox Valley Connection …
– with a file from Greg Sakaki