Both the Douglas Royals’ men’s and women’s soccer teams have the same goal. But they’re heading to opposite ends of the country to achieve it.
The men are off to Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo where they’ll play for the Canadian College Athletic Association national championship beginning Nov. 8 after they won their first PACWEST title since 2014 last Sunday with a 3-0 over the Quest Kermodes.
The Royals got the only goal they needed in the 34th minute when a Kermodes player knocked the ball into his own net.
Idris Najim extended their advantage to 2-0 in the 60th minute and Tetsuya Yoshinaga sealed the deal with his first goal of the regional championship in the 87th minute.
The women will also be playing for the national championship. Although they’ll be traveling to the opposite end of the country, to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Royals defeated the Capilano Blues in penalty kicks in Saturday’s PACWEST final. It was their second conference championship in three years.
After neither team was able to score in regulation and extra time, Douglas midfielder Sam Kell opened their account in the first round of penalty kicks by beating Blues’ keeper Nikki Gerbrandt.
Capilano’s Marsha Chesshire tied it in the second round then Mikayla Hamilton put the Royals back up in the third round but the Blues tied it again in the fourth round.
That set the table for some fifth-round heroics for Douglas keeper Alex Gazzola. After she scored on Gerbrandt to put the Royals back in front, she then watched the Blues’ Sophia Goto miss the net on their last shot.
Gazolla was named the player of the game.
The women’s championship also begins Nov. 8.