For the third straight season, the Quest University Kermodes women's soccer team is heading to the postseason.
Quest went into Sunday's (Oct. 21) game against the Kwantlen Eagles needing at least a win or a tie and the Kermodes exploded for one of their biggest offensive outbursts of the year, beating the Eagles 3-0.
“Our team is finally clicking offensively,” said team captain Jessica Freeman after the win. “We really came together today and it was nice for us to score on a couple of set plays.”
Brianna Powrie opened the scoring 15 minutes into the game with a header after a corner kick to give Quest the lead and the Kermodes kept the offense coming. Daniella Smith forced the Kwantlen keeper to come up with a big save at the 30 minute mark and Quest's persistence paid off when Mari Tarleton scored on a set-up cross from Jamey Horth to give the Kermodes a 2-0 lead heading into the second half.
The Eagles pushed back early in the second half but keeper Taylor Shantz was up to the task and Horth added a goal mid-way through the second half to give the Kermodes the 3-0 lead, which they held on to for the remainder of the match.
“We were a little nervous but excited heading into a game like this,” Freeman said. “And we were a little sketchy early on but our passing was working today and it all came together for us.”
One of the notable adjustments that the Kermodes made was moving forward Becky Schille from forward to defense, Freeman said it's been a good fit.
“She's an all purpose player and is really strong out there for us,” she said. “She's been really solid back there for us and is just a smart player.”
This year's club established new school records in wins (seven) and points (23) and will now take on the UBC-O Heat in round one of the Pacwest provincials, which take place at Quest University field starting on Friday (Oct. 26). Freeman said home field advantage should be huge for the team.
“It's freaking awesome to be able to play at home,” she said. “We get to sleep in our own beds and don't have to travel anywhere and we should have all of our fans there too.”
The Heat finished with 27 points but did defeat Quest in the team's two meetings this season. UBC-O defeated Quest 3-0 back on Sept. 15 and then beat the Kermodes 3-1 in Squamish on Oct. 14.
“They're one of our bigger rivals,” Freeman said. “I know the last time we played them we started off really well but they came back to beat us.”
The women's team started off the weekend on a positive note with a 1-0 win over Douglas College on Saturday (Oct. 20). Pemberton native Krigi Marti scored the game deciding goal for Quest.
The team will take on UBC-O in round one of the playoffs on Friday at 3 p.m. If Quest wins, they will move on to the gold medal game on Saturday (Oct. 27) at 7 p.m., a loss means they will battle for the bronze at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the men's team finished off the season with a pair of losses to add to what was a winless season. The Kermodes lost 6-1 to Douglas on Saturday, with Kevin Berna scoring the lone goal for Quest and dropped a 2-1 decision to Kwantlen on Sunday. Rookie striker JB McEown scored the only goal for Quest.
The Kermodes finished with a record of zero wins, 12 losses and two ties and haven't tasted victory since Oct. 23, 2011.
Following the game, the school honoured graduating athletes Krigi Marti and Ami Massey from the women's team and men's team members Jonathan Friedman, James McKinley and John Aikins-Slade for their contributions to the program.
For more details on the Pacwest provincials and both teams, visit www.questkermodes.ca.