For the second time in three seasons, the Vancouver Island University Mariners are the PACWEST women’s soccer champions thanks to a 2-0 victory over the Capilano University Blues on Saturday afternoon in Burnaby. The win also punches VIU’s ticket to the CCAA Nationals, hosted by Douglas College.
Both of VIU’s goals came in the second half, with PACWEST Player of the Year Chloe Gummer scoring the game-winner in the 54th minute. Off a corner kick, the ball bounced up in the air off a header, and Gummer was first to it — heading the ball across the line for her seventh goal of the season.
The Mariners got an insurance tally in the 76th when fifth-year Maddy Dawson found space down the right side and scored off a low strike from 15 yards out.
Capilano had several chances throughout the match, but Mariners keeper Melanie Osborne was consistently up to the task. She made a big stop on CapU midfielder Brooklynn Doucette off a breakaway in the first half to keep the game scoreless, and in the second half handled every opportunity sent her way.
Despite six corner kicks and a number of scrambles in front of the net, the Blues couldn’t break the VIU defence, and had to settle for PACWEST silver for the second season in a row.
Cara Dunlop was named the Kahunaverse Player of the Game and the Tournament MVP thanks to her strong play on the defensive end. Gummer was named Top Forward, Osborne was Top Goalkeeper, and from Capilano, Jessica Price was Top Defender and Natalie LeClerc was Top Midfielder.
This is VIU’s sixth conference championship in school history, and their first since 2016. They now advances to the CCAA Nationals, hosted by Douglas College in Coquitlam from November 7-10.