The women’s CCAA national soccer championship will open on Wednesday morning at Douglas College as the eight best teams in the country square off.
The PACWEST champion VIU Mariners will face a wildcard team from the RSEQ in Quebec, the Champlain Saint-Lambert Cavaliers at 12:30pm.
The Mariners punched their ticket to the nationals 11 days ago with a 2-0 shutout of the Capilano Blues after finishing first in the standings with a 5-2-5 record. PACWEST Player of the Year Chloe Gummer leads the Mariners offensively compiling six goals during the season. Secondary pressure will be extremely important against the Cavaliers who are not a typical wildcard team and have shown they can lockdown a good goal scorer. The Mariners have been balanced all season with offensive threats like Maddy Dawson who had three goals in the regular season as did Katie Reynolds. Yayama Natsu, Justine McMahon and Karen Battie can also push the play offensively with a pair of goals each.
On the back end the Mariners have had the top keeper in the PACWEST as Melanie Osborne played in 11 of their 12 games only allowing nine goals in 945 minutes of action.
She will need to be sharp against the offence of the Cavaliers who finished 7-2-1 during the regular season and were led by the RSEQ Player of the Year in Karima Lemire.
This will be the first meeting ever for these two schools. The last time the Mariners faced a team from the RSEQ was in 2016 losing 1-0 to College Ahuntsic in the national semi-final. Their last win over a school from Quebec was back in 1993 as they won national gold with a 3-2 win over Sherbrooke.
Kick off on Wednesday is set for 12:30pm.