The Quest University Kermodes women's soccer team is playoff bound once again and established a new club record in wins after a pair of victories on Saturday (Oct. 12) and Sunday (Oct. 13).
Saturday saw the Kermodes stage a second half comeback to beat the Capilano Blues 2-1. Quest trailed 1-0 at halftime but a goal from the reigning Pacwest women's soccer player of the week Paige Ayers at the 60 minute mark tied it up and Mari Tarleton scored the game winner in the 80th minute.
Tarleton's goal came after a picture perfect throw in by Kira DeLeeuw and Quest hung on for the 2-1 win. It was more of the same on Sunday against the VIU Mariners, with Emily Ancil opening the scoring at the 22 minute mark and Quest goal keeper Tiana Gilchrist making some big saves to secure the shutout.
The Kermodes improved to nine wins and three losses with the pair of victories and are ranked second in their division.
Sunday also marked the final time that the graduating men and women players will hit the pitch at Quest University field. A short ceremony occurred after the women's game to honour women's team seniors Tarleton, Gilchrist, Tatiana Bliss and Gellie Raguin-Licas, along with men's seniors Charles Impey and Evan Cross.
An emotional Raguin-Licas said she enjoyed the ceremony and said it's been a memorable run with Quest.
“I came up here for a soccer camp and fell in love with the school and the soccer program,” the Delta native said.
Raguin-Licas was a part of the very first women's team to ever qualify for the Pacwest playoffs in her rookie season and they've qualified every year since.
“The first year we made it  we were kind of just happy to be there,” she said. “But we've grown a lot and I think we can play with anyone now. The soccer program here is strong.”
She praised her graduating teammates Tarleton and Gilchirst.
“Mari's our top goal scorer and Tiana has been our number one goalie so they've been so important to us over the years,” she said.
And despite losing talent to graduation this year, Raguin-Licas said the future looks bright for the women's club, pointing out that Ayers and mid-fielder Niki Glavina are two important pieces for the team to build around.
For the men, it was pair of strong efforts – particularly Saturday against Capilano but not ideal results. They tied Capilano 1-1 and then lost to VIU 2-0 on Sunday.
After falling behind early against the Blues, Quest came back with a goal from Zachary Roberts-Winter with a nice through ball by Farely Cannon to set it up. The Kermodes were pressing for the remainder of the game but couldn't sneak another one by the Blues keeper.
Sunday saw VIU score off a header in the first half and add a corner kick goal in the second half to cruise to a 2-0 win.
Yesterday [Saturday] we were literally one touching around the other team and I was thinking my team had finally arrived,” said Kermodes head coach Jonas Worth. “But then today [Sunday] we played like…”
But Sunday was a time to honour two of Worth's most valuable warriors over the years – Impey and Cross.
“I told the guys that this is what today is about,” he said of the graduating players final home game. “They're the last of the classes I didn't recruit but I truly consider them one of my own. They've meant so much to the program as far as leadership goes and just how much I've grown close to them. It's like you're graduating a son – I was having trouble not getting emotional.”
He said both Cross and Impey will be missed.
“The biggest thing with Charles is just his personality and Evan has a bigger influence on the guys off the field and that's why he won the Leadership award for us,” Worth said. “It's the personal side of both guys that I'll miss.”
Impey said former Quest coach Adam Day convinced him to come to Squamish from England back in 2010 and that he's loved his experience at Quest. He said the differences in the program from 2010 to 2014 are night and day.
“It's more of an actual program now,” he said. “It was almost an intra mural team before but we have great coaches, great fans and it's just a really good place to play.”
He said Cross has been a great teammate and a valuable part of the Kermodes teams over the years.
“He's a great keeper and he set a good example for the guys when he was behind Lucas [Menz] for a few years,” he said. “And he hasn't disappointed since he's become our starter. He's been my best friend since I arrived here and it's been an honour to play with him.”
Impey said his best moment as a Kermodes was the men's team's last win on Oct. 23, 2011.
“We beat VIU – who were the national champions 2-1 and it was a proud day for the team and the program,” he said.
He added that he hopes to obtain a working Visa and remain in B.C. to possibly do some soccer coaching for a few years before continuing his education down the road.
The season isn't over yet for the teams, as they will travel to the Interior for games against TRU and UBC-O on Saturday (Oct. 19) and Sunday (Oct. 20). The regular season concludes after those games and the women will then find out who they will battle in the playoffs starting on Oct. 26 in Nanaimo.
For more information on the teams, visit www.questkermodes.ca.
With files from: Jose Colorado/Quest University