Two losses at home have dropped the Kwantlen Polytechnic (KPU) Eagles men’s soccer team back to .500 and into a four-team race for three playoff positions.
The Eagles were blanked 1-0 by the Quest Kermodes Saturday afternoon and lost 2-0 to the Vancouver Island Mariners Sunday in a pair of Pacific Northwest (PACWEST) Conference games at Newton Athletic Park.
Now at 3-3-3 (won-tied-lost), the Eagles are in second place, one points ahead of Quest, the Langara Falcons and Douglas College Royals. The top four teams will qualify for the provincial playoff Oct. 25-26 in Squamish.
Saturday was KPU’s best chance to earn some points. The Eagles attacked from the start, and thought they had taken an early lead. But an offside call wiped out the goal, and although they created several chances over the 90 minutes, were unable to get on the scoreboard.
Rylan Sangha, Holy Cross high school graduate Dalton San and Seaquam Secondary graduate Jacob Starheim combined to press for a tying goal, without success.
“I thought we played really well, created chances and a had beautiful goal that didn’t make it on the sheet,” said head coach Srdjan Djekanovic. We kept pushing forward but goals changed games, they got one and unfortunately for us the ball just didn’t want to cross that line for us again today.”
The first-place Mariners scored once in each half to get the win Sunday, and increase their lead over the Eagles to 11 points in the standings.
KPU’s women’s team picked up four points from two games on the weekend, and with their 3-3-3 mark are in fourth place, six points clear of the fifth-place Quest Kermodes.
The Eagles topped Quest 1-0 on Saturday at Newton Athletic Park. First-year midfielder Chloe Bottrell netted the lone goal of the game for the Eagles, while rookie netminder Chantalle Bracken earned her second consecutive shutout.
“We had lots of energy and lots of intensity in the second half and it made all the difference,” said KPU head coach Julie King, “We were also able to minimize the impact of our mistakes. We’re not perfect but our mistakes haven’t hurt us like they have in the past.”
Against first-place Vancouver Island University Sunday in Newton, the Eagles were satisfied with a scoreless tie.
KPU rookie Simran Meelu was a standout in goal for the Eagles, earning the shutout with several key saves, including one on a penalty.
The two Eagles teams will play twice against the Capilano Blues next weekend, kicking off in North Vancouver Saturday before games Sunday at noon (women) and 2:00 p.m. (men) at Newton Athletic Park.
The Blues are in the basement of both the men’s and women’s standings. The Blues’ women are 0-3-5, while Capilano’s men’s team is 1-1-6.