Men's soccer strong finish

October 23rd, 2011

VIU finishes season strong and do it by committee.

  Saturday VIU faced UBC Okanagan a team that was fighting to get their first playoff spot into the PACWEST provincial soccer championships. The Mariners had the luxury of already having first spot in their division rapped up with a 7-0-2 record and although the Mariners had their spot in the Provincial Championship, they still wanted to play a strong game for their supporters and hoped to finish the season undefeated. The Mariner came out strong playing some of their best soccer of the year, but again couldn’t finish their early chances. The UBCO struck first at 40 minutes into the game, Ernesto Rosario made a run unmarked and his hard shot came off a sliding defender to beat Mariners keeper Dan Mercier. The Mariners continued to work and were rewarded with a free kick minutes after the Heats goal ,Mat Mehrassa took a good hard shot along the ground that beat UBCO’s keeper low to his short side and the teams ended the first half 1-1.


  The Mariners made a number of substitutions at half time and more during the 2nd half so they were able to get all their players playing time and help prepare for the up coming Provincials in Kelowna, hosted by the UBCO Heat. The 2nd half was played at a good pace with the Heats keeper Spencer Brown making some great saves denying both Romaie Martin and Matt Mehrassa on possible game winning goals. Late in the game it was Mariner keeper Dan Mercer that was called on to make a diving save on a shot from out that looked like it was going in.

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 The game ended 1-1 and keeper Dan Mercer was selected player of the game for his timely save in the 2nd half.

  Mariners coaching staff was happy with the tie against a talented UBCO Heat, the Mariner team played well with everyone getting minutes and the team continued playing well and showed consistency. Some of the player that put in good performances were Midfielders Stephen Ewashko, Chris Arnett and Center back Ben Leggett.

 Sunday the Mariners played a desperate Thompson River University WolfPack, the WolfPack were in a must win situation, sitting 4th in their PacWest division, they had to beat the Mariners to earn a Provincial playoff spot. The Mariners rested three of their regular starters ,midfielder and past all Canadian Chris Arnett because of card trouble, PacWest Athlete of the week Dan Cato also sat out with card trouble and this years Rookie stand out, Right back Kevan Brown sat to rest an ankle after starting every game this season. The Mariners were able to have Defender Matt Rigden, Midfielders Romaie Martin and Brad Crewe step in and play very well.

 The Mariners were the ones that came out looking like they were playing for a playoff spot, playing with lots of energy and taking the play to the Wolf Pack. Romaie Martin put the mariners on the board part way through the first half, finishing off a Brad Crewe cross. The Mariners went into the change room at half time up by one.

    The team continued to control the play in the 2nd half and battled hard with the hard working Wolf Pack, Defenders Matt Mehrassa and Ben Leggett held tight in the backline ,midfielders Davis Stupich ,Stephen Ewashko and strikers AJ kambere and Jared Stephens kept TRU on their heels.

Stephen Ewashko scored the Mariners 2nd goal with 10 minutes remaining in the 2nd half, the goal turned out to be the final goal of the game and the Mariners finish with a 2-0 win. Ben Leggett was selected player of the game after a great weekend performance.

Read more in the NNB

 The Mariners coaching staff were very happy with the weekend, two good results against strong teams that were both fighting to get into the playoffs. The players coming off the bench for the Mariners continued to contribute and kept the flow of the games going, this was a big plus for the Mariners heading into the always unpredictable Provincial Championships.