The second half of the PacWest season is shaping up to be a little better than the first for the Kwantlen Eagles.
After winning the past two provincial titles, the women’s soccer team was just .500 through the first six games of 2011. But after a 6-0 win Saturday at Newton Athletic Park over the winless University of B.C. Timberwolves, Kwantlen is poised to put together a win streak and challenge for first place in Group A.
The Eagles are now 4-0-3 (won-tied-lost), three points back of the first place Quest Kermodes and tied for the runner-up position with the Langara Falcons. Both rivals have six games left to play, with just five remaining on the Kwantlen schedule.
“We need to win our next three games,” said head coach Gordon Smith. “If we do that, we get Quest and Langara on the last weekend of the season. We need some help, but we can finish atop our pool. First place isn’t necessary, but it does help.”
Three teams from each of the two pools qualify for the provincial tournament, with the first place teams getting a first round bye. Kwantlen is all but assured of a playoff position, but still needs some wins to challenge for top spot.
The win over the Timberwolves was expected, but any game against a team which hasn’t come close to winning a game this season raises concerns of overconfidence. But Smith was adamant the Eagles weren’t looking past UNBC.
“We kind of put ourselves behind the eight ball with a 3-3 (won-lost) record,” said Smith. “Everyone else has beaten them, so if we didn’t win, it’s points lost.
“And we have internal competition for positions and minutes, which is always a motivating factor. And because it was the only game this weekend, we could focus on it.”
Shanay Sangha and Yvamara Rodriguez netted two goals each for Kwantlen, with Kathleen Ehman and Chelsey Lal adding one each.
Kwantlen will play the Douglas Royals next weekend, playing at Newton Athletic Park at noon on Saturday (Oct. 8) with the rematch set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Charles Best Secondary in Coquitlam. The Royals have won just one game this season, a 4-1 win over UNBC Sunday afternoon.