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#1 Royals Face #4 Mariners

Photo courtesy of Northfield Photography
Photo courtesy of Northfield Photography

#1 Douglas Royals vs. #4 VIU Mariners - Friday October 27, 8:00pm | WATCH HERE

Friday night the #1 Douglas Royals meet the #4 VIU Mariners in a semi-final at the PACWEST women’s soccer championship. The game is a rematch of last year’s gold medal game that the Mariners won 1-0.

The Royals enter the championship as the top seed for the second straight year after a 7-3-2 record and have won two of their last three.

Offensively they scored a PACWEST high 25 goals behind Sam Kell who tallied eight, five of which coming against the Mariners. Mikayla Hamilton was also a force netting six goals. As good as this offence has been, their defence has been equally impressive.

Keepers Alexa Gazzola and Nicole Scott slammed the door allowing a Conference low 11 goals combining for a goals against average under one and recorded a shutout. Generally the shots taken by the opposition weren’t threating due to the outstanding play of the Royals backend.

“We are definitely excited for the playoffs, although it feels like preseason just started last week,” says head coach Chris Laxton. “We finished the season with some consistent performances and strong play. Anything can happen in one-off games, but I hope we can build off our experiences both in previous seasons and this past weekend. VIU is a strong veteran team with almost identical experience as us in these big games. They've been to the final 3 years in a row with many impact players from those games still playing. We will have our work cut out for us, but I expect our players to be ready to perform.”

The Mariners on the other hand have won two straight coming into the championship and are a dangerous team. They settled for five ties this season and had they turned just two of those into wins, they would have finished second rather than fourth.

On the offensive side they were a balanced team with four athletes scoring three goals or more. Both Moira Brown and Chloe Gummer each had four.

Head to head the Royals outscore the Mariners 8-3 and recorded two wins and a tie. Sam Kell scored five of her eight goals this season against the Mariners and Michelle Wessa chipped in with two.