The Royals Are Golden

Photo courtesy of Vancouver Sports Pictures
Photo courtesy of Vancouver Sports Pictures

The Douglas Royals are PACWEST champions for the second time in three seasons.

Defence and goaltending was the story of the women’s gold medal game that was decided by penalty kicks as the Royals punched their ticket to the CCAA National championship in Nova Scotia. The Royals beat the Capilano Blues in the fifth round of penalty kicks.

Throughout regular time the teams had their opportunities but the defence and keepers stood tall and slammed the door on any offensive chances.

After nothing was solved in regulation and extra time the teams needed a penalty kick session to determine the PACWEST championship.

The Royals had the first shooter and PACWEST All-Star Sam Kell made no mistake giving her club a 1-0 lead. Keeper Alexa Gazzola then made a critical save on the Blues shooter; their keeper Nikki Gerbrandt.

In the second round Gerbrandt turned away Madison Hendry, then watched teammate Marsha Chesshire tie the game at one.

The PACWEST Player of the Year Mikayla Hamilton gave the Royals the lead again with a goal in the third round. Blues’ shooter Dominika Paige was then stoned by Gazzola.

In the fourth round Gerbrandt again came up big turning aside the shot from Sonali Dholliwar. That gave the Blues a lift as Natalie Leclerc then tied it again.

The Royals then turned to Gazzola and she scored giving the Blues once last shot. However Sophia Goto missed the net and the Royals celebrated the gold.

After a stellar game, making a save and scoring the winning penalty kick Gazzola was named the Player of the Game.

Following the game the Tournament All-Stars and MVP were announced:

All Star Team:

Zoe Grace – VIU Mariners (top keeper)
Jessica Price – Capilano Blues (top defender)
Michelle Wessa – Douglas Royals (top midfielder)
Catrina Olstrom – Capilano Blues (top forward)

MVP – Mikayla Hamilton – Douglas Royals