Soccer begins

September 4th, 2011

Vancouver Island University Men’s Soccer team starts the 2011 season away to Capilano Blues this Saturday Sept 10th. The team has 14 players returning from the BCCAA Provincial and CCAA Canadian National Championship team however they know what a competitive season it will be. Read more in the NNB

Striker;  (Captain) Jared Stephens who has been one of the most under rated players in the BCCAA  is probably the hardest player to defend, Jared’s combination of athleticism and skill make him someone to watch out for this season. He had a great season with the Victoria Highlanders of the PDL this past summer and has looked good through camp so far. 

Midfielders; Chris Arnett brings great energy and skill he remains a very tuff player for opponents to match in the middle of the park with his relentless work rate.  We have high expectations for Jared’s (Co Captain) Matt Mehrassa who has great skill, leadership and playing experience to help lead this Mariners squad. Stephen Ewashko is probably one of our most skilled players on the Mariners team and he brings vision and composure to the centre of the park.

Our Wingers Romaie Martin and Brad Crewe are both hard workers and have great pace on the outside flanks, it will be fun to watch these two run at defenders this season.

 Defenders; Dan Cato last season had to miss out on the National Championship because of a technicality but was a huge inspiration for the team and he has worked very hard to come in fit and ready to play this season having a great game against UVIC.  Davis Stupich also had a great summer in the PCSL with the Mid Isle Highlanders and has been having a great preseason, the team hopes to see that carry through and he looks good as a starting center defender with Ben Leggett.   Ben Leggett a 4th year player that will continue to go about his business as the Mariners top defender also another player that never gets the recognition he deserves. We have three outside backs that have been fighting for the starting roles between Kevin Brown, AJ Kambere and Brad Archibald but believe competition in training for starting positions is a very healthy problem to have.

The team will miss four of last year’s key starters goal Keeper Robbie Cochrane, left back Chris Merriman, left midfielder Kyle Bate and Centre attacking midfielder Aki Ishimine , four great players that are not easily replaced. Robbie Cochrane MVP and arguable the top goalkeeper in the CCAA for the 2009/10 seasons although there are some great keepers in this league. Chris Merriman, not only a talent but his team leadership and inspiration was 2nd to none and the intensity and quality is something we like to have in all our players.  Both of these players brought great intensity and competitiveness to our games but more importantly to our training, we hope that players will step up and fill these boots.

Goal Keeper;   Scott Brown will be looking to play his first season with VIU after red shirting last year for the Mariners; Scott has worked hard in the off season and gained some very valuable experience playing for the Mid Isle Highlanders of the PCSL. The VIU coaching staff is happy with the team and looking forward to our third season in the BCCAA, we are also fully aware of the bull’s-eye a National Title puts on the team. All of the players in our VIU pre-season camp have been great to work with because they came in fit and understand our expectations.

“We will work just as hard or harder than we did the last two seasons for every point in this competitive league and our players all know that last season is last season.” Bill Merriman

Read more on VIU Men's soccer in the NNB