One day after a difficult loss, the Douglas College men’s soccer team took to the same pitch with a plan.
Spurred on by a big performance from goalkeeper Felipe Domingos, the Royals blanked the Vancouver Island Mariners 2-0 in Nanaimo on Sunday, getting some sweet revenge after a 1-0 setback just 24 hours earlier.
It’s the kind of bounce-back effort Douglas College has shown since the start of the PacWest League kicked off a month ago. While they sit in third spot with a 3-4-1 record and just four games remaining, all but one of their losses has been by more than a goal.
On their two-day tour of Nanaimo, the Royals were even-up with the Mariners until the 80th minute, when Westlee Bischoff gave the home team the lead.
In a contest where Douglas only had a single corner kick, compared to Vancouver Island’s 12, the home team generated twice as many shots on net. Douglas netminder Jacob McNall made 10 saves. At the other end, Kevin Picard picked up the win by stopping five shots.
The Royals returned the favour on Sunday, this time taking the lead in the 42nd minute on Abdul Ali’s second marker of the season. The New West-based team were in protect mode for much of the second half, getting some breathing room when Milan Gandesha knocked in his third of the season to make it 3-0. A native of Brazil, Domingos turned aside 12 shots to bolster his league-leading save percentage of .865, picking up his third shutout of the season.
Handing the league-leading Mariners their second loss of the season was particularly satisfying. Douglas, ranked 13th in the nation in a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association poll, has dropped a pair of games to the Nanaimo squad – including 5-1 on Sept. 15 – and remain within kicking distance of first place.
The Royals play the No. 5-ranked Capilano Blues twice this week – Saturday in North Vancouver and Sunday (3 p.m.) at Town Centre Park. The second-place Blues have twice handed Douglas disappointing results with goals in the last minute of play.
ROYALS WOMEN EARN SINGLE POINT
It wasn’t exactly what the Douglas College Royals women’s soccer team had planned.
They began their two-game stop in Nanaimo against the Vancouver Island University with a hard-fought 1-1 draw Saturday, thanks to Alyssa Lum’s fourth goal of the season.
The host Mariners counted first 15 minutes into the contest, when Kanae Yamamoto netted her fourth goal. Lum countered four minutes later.
Douglas netminder Tess Venables turned aside 12 shots, while Vancouver Island’s Melanie Osborne was only forced to make one save.
A day later, the first-place Mariners got ahead early and motored to a 3-0 win over the Royals.
Justine McMahon’s marker eight minutes in proved to be the winner. Osborne stopped all three shots Douglas directed her way.
The Royals sit second, one point back of Vancouver Island, with a 5-1-2 record.
They visit Capilano University on Saturday, then return the favour on Sunday, noon at Coquitlam Town Centre Park.