The PACWEST Provincial Soccer Championships are set to kick-off on Friday at the Burnaby Lakes Sports Complex.
The women’s final four will open up the tournament with a pair of games at 12:30pm.
#1 Douglas College Royals vs. #4 Capilano Blues – 12:30pm – Field #3
During the regular season the Royals and Blues played three times, with the Royals winning twice following their 1-1 tie on September 18th. Both the Royals wins were decided by just a single goal.
Coming into the Provincials, the defending champion Royals are playing their best soccer, winners of six in a row. During this win streak they have beat the Blues twice and have outscored the opposition 19-6 with three shutouts. The PACWEST Player of the Year Andrea Perrotta and Mikayla Hamilton have each scored five times on this winning streak.
When these clubs met in the regular season finale last week, both Perrotta and Hamilton didn’t play, opening the door for Samantha Frketich who scored a hat trick.
The Blues offence who scored 13 less goals than the Royals will need to come alive to dethrone the champs. Taylor Einhorn, Shaelie Bramley and Gagan Pamma have been the main offensive weapons scoring 11 of the Blues 15 goals. Last week against the Royals Pamma scored twice in a 4-3 loss.
On the backend the Royals have primarily stuck with Alexa Gazzola in net. She has a Conference low 0.57 goals against average in her eight games played and has collected four shutouts. She was named the PACWEST All-Star goalkeeper earlier this week.
The Blues have platooned Nikki Gerbrandt and Brittney Roussy throughout the season. However Gerbrandt has played the majority of minutes as of late. She has a 1.33 goals against average in her seven games played. Overall the Blues have been good keeping the ball out of their own net allowing 17 goals, the same amount as the Royals.
#2 VIU Mariners vs. #3 Langara Falcons – 12:30pm – Field #4
This will be the fourth time the Mariners and Falcons square off this season. During the regular campaign the Mariners won two of the three meetings following a 2-2 tie in their first game. The Mariners outscored the Falcons 9-2, shutting them out twice including a 6-0 victory two weeks ago. Six different players scored goals that game.
The Mariners enter the Provincial Championship as winners of their last three games after opening the season with four straight ties. Rookie Chloe Gummer has been dynamite with six goals this season, but she’s not the only offensive threat. Rachel Jones, Moria Brown and Madeline Dawson each have at least three goals. In all the Mariners had the Conference’s second highest goal total with 26, just two back of the first place Royals.
Perhaps more importantly for the Mariners is keeping the ball OUT of their own net. They allowed a Conference low 16 goals during the season, thanks in large part to fifth year goalkeeper Emily Rowbotham. She collected 4.5 shutouts playing in 12 games with a 1.39 goals against average and was one of only two keepers to play over 1000 minutes.
The Falcons had all sorts of problems trying to solve Rombotham this season, scoring just twice, both in a 2-2 tie in the third game of the year.
They come into the Provincials winning two of their last three. Their only set back was the 6-0 loss to the Mariners. The Falcons have had balanced scoring during the regular season with 18 goals. Amelia Brown leads her club with four markers, but Anjali Dhaliwal, Dannijela Gordic, Ana Lukic and Chelsea Brown each scored twice. Gordic and Lukic have the Falcons only goals against Mariners.
Goalkeeper Sierra Grieco will have to be stellar for the Falcons to have success. She has a 1.50 goals against average with one shutout in seven games.