The Quest University Kermodes women’s soccer team is off to Nanaimo and the Pacwest playoffs after posting the best regular season in school history.
Quest finished the regular season with a record of nine wins, one tie and four losses and the team qualified for the provincials as the No. 2 seed in the Pacwest.
The women’s team lost a 1-0 contest to the TRU Wolfpack on Saturday (Oct. 19) and then played the UBC-O Heat to a scoreless draw on Sunday (Oct. 20).
It was a playoff of preview of sorts, as Quest will battle the Heat in the Pacwest semifinals, with the winner playing the victor of the Wolfpack and Langara Falcons in the finals.
Quest men’s head coach Jonas Worth said both his team and the women’s team were a little off due to travelling to the interior.
“I think both teams were a bit lethargic on Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “The travel seemed to hurt both teams a bit.”
The Wolfpack and Kermodes game on Saturday featured the top two women’s teams in the Pacwest but Worth said both teams were resting players and Quest wasn’t at its best.
“That game didn’t live up to its billing but it will next time,” he said, hinting that he believes Quest can advance to the finals. “With the players and maturity they have, I think this year is as good as any. They’re an impressive group and they have that playoff experience now. I’m hoping their maturity will help them.”
For the men, it was the second straight Pacwest regular season without a win. They lost to TRU 4-0 on Saturday and were defeated by the Heat 5-2 on Sunday. J.B. McEown and Laith Matlak scored the goals for the Kermodes.
Despite failing to win a game, Worth said he’s optimistic about the future of his club.
“We’re 2 1/2 years into a five-year plan and I feel as good about the team as ever,” he said. “We have talent but that’s not enough. You also need maturity, experience and mental toughness.”
He said he expects his team to finally break through next year.
“I’m excited about how much better we can get,” he said. “My job next year it so shore up the backline and find one other goal scorer.”
Graduating goalkeeper Evan Cross leaves a void in between the pipes but Worth said Taylor Lehnart should be able to fill that hole.
“I’m 100 per cent behind him and so is the team,” he said. “He’s become a stellar keeper and I’m excited for him.”
Worth said he likes his two centre backs in Taylor Copper and Benjamin Schager and he likes the experience and talent in players like McEown, Matlak, Derek McKinnon and Oscar Bonilla.
“We’re going to be a mature team next year with a lot of fourth-years in key spots,” he said.
The women hit the pitch in Nanaimo on Saturday (Oct. 26) against the Heat. If they’re successful, they move on to the finals the following day.
If the women’s team wins the Pacwest provincials, they will also automatically qualify for the nationals in Surrey starting on Nov. 6. For more information on the teams, visit www.questkermodes.ca.