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Cap earns silver at PACWEST Championships

Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures
Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures

After 120 minutes of tense, scoreless action it took penalty kicks to decide the 2017 PACWEST women’s soccer final, and after five rounds of penalties the Capilano University Blues fell to the Douglas College Royals and ended their season with a silver medal.

CapU established a strong defensive effort from the get-go, as their back line held firm despite Douglas maintaining the majority of the possession. Nikki Gerbrandt got the start in goal after recording a shutout in Cap’s semi-final win on Friday, and calmly controlled any chances that came her way.

Capilano’s best scoring chance in the first half came near the end of the frame when Sydney Schmidt made a run down the right wing and got off a clean shot, but was denied by Royals keeper Alexa Gazzola.

The second half featured more of the same defensive play, as both sides struggled to develop scoring chances. Each team had a number of corner kicks and free kicks from just outside the box, but each time the defense was able to clear the ball out of harm's way.

After 90 scoreless minutes, the final headed to 30 minutes of extra time – where Capilano had the game’s best chance to break the deadlock. After a foul on the right wing, a free kick was played into the box – and after a scramble in the box a save was made on the goal line by Gazzola and the ensuing rebound was headed inches over the crossbar.

With the game still 0-0 the contest headed to penalty kicks. Through five rounds Douglas converted three times while Capilano scored only twice, giving the Royals PACWEST gold. The silver medal for Capilano is the team’s best result since the Blues won gold in 2007, and their sixth in program history.

Following the game, Catrina Olstrom and Jessica Price were named PACWEST Tournament All-Stars. Olstrom was named Top Forward, as she scored the game-winning goal in the semis and was an impact player up front all tournament, while Price was Top Defender after she anchored a CapU back line that didn’t allow a goal during the championship.