Kermodes ready for provincial debut

Men's soccer team qualifies for Pacwest Provincials for first time ever

The Kermodes made Quest University history last week, securing a spot in the men’s soccer provincials.

It’s the first time in the university’s seven years of existence that the team will hit the field in the event. The provincials are set to kick off in Squamish on Friday (Oct. 24). The three-day tournament is being hosted by Quest.

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While having a home crowd is a bonus, it’s not going to be an easy run for the Kermodes. They’re up against a top-ranked team — Vancouver Island University (VIU) — in their first playoff game on Saturday (Oct. 25). If they win it’s on to the gold game, but if they lose they’ll be battling it out in a bronze game. Either way, the matches are scheduled for Sunday (Oct. 26).

Throughout the season the team has fostered a disciplined and regimented culture, head coach Alexander Elliott told The Squamish Chief. Players entered every game with the mindset that they’re in a playoff situation, he said. As such, Elliott’s not overly concerned about going head-to-head with VIU.

“We have had some close results against VIU,” Elliott said, recalling a 2-1 match.

The men earned their provincial spot in some hard-fought games last weekend. It all came down to a match against Langara University. In a nail-biting 45 minutes in the first half, the Kermodes were ahead 1-0 after the whistle. Andrew Shoring scored the first goal from the top of the 18-yard box.

“It was a physical first half with both cards and blood drawn from both sides,” Beppe Amobio, of Quest Athletics, wrote on the university’s website.

The momentum rolled into the second half. Max Tagesen helped snag the game for the team, scoring two goals before the final whistle blew.

Elliott complimented the team’s seniors for encouraging and incubating the Kermodes’ success. Next season the team stands to lose six of its players — Taylor Lehnhart, Derek McKinnon, Benjamin Schager, Laith Matlak, Kevin Berna and Oscar Bonilla — all of whom are fourth-year students. They’ve helped lay out the groundwork for the younger players to be just as engaged and committed to earning those Ws, Elliott said.

“The players that we are losing have built the foundation for the players coming in,” he said.

The Kermodes women’s team will have to cheer on the provincials from the sidelines, as they did not qualify for the tournament. The team was one spot shy of the competition, placing fifth in their league.

For more information on the tournament, visit www.pacwestbc.ca/2014soccer.

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