Brent Mutis, Sport Information & Compliance Officer
The Capilano Blues women's soccer team saw its season come to a close Saturday at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex in a 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners.
After a long day Friday that saw the Blues play a two full periods of extra time plus penalty kicks, they ran into a rested and motivated VIU team they had defeated in their last meeting, a 1-0 result Oct. 19 at home. This time around, defending PACWEST champion VIU was focused and got a blistering strike from Kate Reynolds to open the scoring and another from PACWEST All-Star Chloe Gummer less than seven minutes later to get a firm grasp on the game.
Shea Battie made it 3-0 Mariners before the half. Mya Fraser got the Blues on the board early in the second half but that would be all the offence they could muster on the day.
"I think, you know, it's tough playing back-to-back obviously against a very good side," said Blues head coach Dennis Kindel. "The idea was trying to go score early and unfortunately they had a good shot - off the crossbar and in - that they scored first and it kind of put a little dent in the plans. We kept pushing and pushing but eventually we did kind of run out of gas there at the end too."
VIU will be off to Edmonton's Concordia University for the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national championship tournament happening Nov. 6 to 9. They will attempt to better their fifth-place finish of a year ago.
"Very strong, they're physical...," said Kindel of the VIU side. "It was good to get a win (against them in the regular season), no one else had beaten them. They're a very good group."
Saturday was also the final game in Blues colours for Jaimi MacCara, Natalie LeClerc and Brooklynn Doucette. Kindel said each of the graduating senior players left all their effort on the field all season.
"They're unbelievable. Nat, Jamie, Brook... they were all very key players throughout the years. They turned the season around for us when we started off on a little bit of a slump. They all dug deep and got us all the way to the finals which is still a good achievement."
A silver lining to the Capilano Blues' silver medal was the Top Forward award for Claire Ye.
Tenacious as always, Ye pushed the Blues attack in the semifinal victory over Douglas College and again Saturday in the final. The third-year player from Coquitlam led the Blues in scoring this season with four goals and despite not finding the back of the net at the PACWEST tournament, she impressed with her pursuit of the play, distribution of the ball and her ability to direct the Blues up the field.
Ye was the lone player not from VIU that earned a tournament award.