By Brent Dunlop
October 15, 2012, Nanaimo, BC – The VIU Mariners came away with mixed results on the weekend road games, defeating Kwantlen College 2-1 Saturday, but then suffering a 3-2 loss to the Douglas College Royals Sunday.
Saturday the Mariners were missing three of their starting defenders (Ben Leggett, with school commitment) (Chris Merriman, injured) and Dan Cato (sitting a suspension) as they battled a very skilled Kwantlen Eagles, a team they had tied earlier in the season.
The Mariners managed to put in a great full team effort with all players contributing to a 2-1 victory. In the first half both teams played back and forth with chances, but neither team was able to score. Jamie Taylor put into the center back roll for the first time did a great job in the middle along with Mat Mehrassa and Davis Stupich.
The 2nd half it was the Eagles getting on the score board off a deflection from a corner kick that managed to find the back of the net. Late in the 2nd half it was the substitutes that gave the Mariners some good spark to keep them going and keep Kwantlen on their heels. 5th year players Brant Losch and Matt Rigden both making an impact for the Mariners, Losch gave his team some energy in the midfield and it was Matt Rigden scoring his first goal at the 88th minute to tie the game after he pounced on a Stephen Ewashko rebound. 1st year player Colin Knight also came on late in the game to make several great runs down the left side to help put pressure on the Eagles and at the 91 min mark it paid off as Romaie Martin got on the end of a cross to score the winning goal for the Mariners.
Sunday was a battle of the top two teams in the league as the VIU Mariners took on the Douglas Royals in a much anticipated show down. The game was not a disappointment with some very good soccer played by both teams and 5 good goals for the spectators to appreciate.
The Mariners came out strong in the first 15 minutes but then it was Douglas that started to take it to the Mariners and were rewarded with 2 goals and went up 2-0 part way into the first half, the Royals striker jumped on a rebound to score their first and then their 2nd was a well placed shot from 18 yards out. The Mariners continued to work hard and it was Jordan Gegraff that beat two defenders then ripped a shot past the Douglas keeper and the first half ended 2-1 for Douglas College.
The 2nd half was different with the Mariners carrying most of the play and Blaze Roberts scored the equalizer for the Mariners, Roberts was able to get his head on another Matt Mehrassa throw in and tie the game at 2. Center backs, Ben Leggett and Dan Cato did a great job shutting things down for the Mariners and stopping the Douglas attack along with midfielders Stephen Ewashko and Matt Mehrassa. The game looked like it was going to end in a tie but the Royals started to put pressure on the Mariners late in the game and caused the Mariners to commit some undisciplined penalties. The Royals were able to score the winner at the 85th min off a well taken free kick giving the Mariners their first loss of the Season.