Resilient Royals rewarded with four-point weekend

Resilient Royals rewarded with four-point weekend

A gritty comeback performance against the league-leading VIU Mariners saw the Royals women's soccer team earn a hard-fought 2-2 draw, and the momentum of their late-game equaliser propelled them to a 3-0 win over the Capilano Blues.

Saturday's game started with a big Mariners push early on. VIU controlled the pace of play and got the game's first chance in the eighth minute with a great ball through to Olivia Dawson, but the ensuing shot was stopped by a sprawling Alexa Gazzola. Four minutes later though, a defensive breakdown gave Chloe Gummer a clear shot on goal and she made no mistake, putting the Mariners up by a goal early.

In the 20th minute, the Royals had three glorious chances from a corner, but the first two were cleared and the third attempt from Neeraj Braich fizzed just over the crossbar.

Much of the action in the match occurred in midfield, with both teams having trouble making consistent strides into the final third, but the 41st minute saw an excellent run down the wing from Braich, who crossed it into the box for an unmarked Emma Thomas, who was able to equalize for the Royals just before halftime.

With the momentum on the Royals' side following the late equalizer, they came out of the gate in the second half guns blazing. They had chance after chance in the opponent's box for 15 straight minutes before Chloe Gummer nearly got her second of the night on a counter attack, tilting the pitch back the other way.

Just before 70 minutes had been played, a corner caromed around in the box before being struck home by Natsu Yayama to put the Mariners back in front.

The Mariners continued to lead possession, but with the clock winding down, Mikaela Montagano launched a curling shot from distance to equalize once more for Douglas. Both teams pressed for a winner, but the final score remained 2-2.

On Sunday, the Royals were dominant on defence and offence. Throughout the first half, the Royals allowed only one shot to get through to keeper Alexa Gazzola, while they themselves peppered Nikki Gerbrant's goal, breaking through in the 29th minute with a Sneha Sandhu strike. Mikaela Montagano would net her second of the weekend two minutes before the halftime whistle, and Sam Kell added a third two minutes after the match was resumed.

The Royals managed a staggering nine shots on target, while Capilano only managed four.

The upcoming weekend will see the final Royals game of the regular season before the 2018 PACWEST Women's Soccer Championships, hosted by Capilano University. The Royals host the Langara Falcons on Saturday at 1 PM, a match which will determine seeding for the regional tournament.