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Dominant Douglas College Royals' soccer squads off to nationals

The New Westminster-based teams won the men's and women's PACWEST Championships in the same year for the second time in school history.

Is Douglas College forging a new dynasty in soccer?

Perhaps, and the Royals' dual conference banners from this past weekend may be the foundations that'll make it a reality.

The New Westminster post-secondary school won the men's and women's PACWEST soccer titles on Sunday, Oct. 29.

As a result, both have advanced to the 2023 CCAA championships next month. The CCAA (Canadian College Athletics Association) is the second-highest level of university sports in Canada.

The men are nationally-ranked fifth and the women sixth going into their respective tournaments at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ont., and Holland College in Summerside, P.E.I. — both competitions take place Nov. 8 to 11.

Penalty kicks

Douglas College's men's team automatically reached the B.C. final after finishing atop of the regular-season standings, 7-3-2, but needed penalty kicks to beat Vancouver Island University (VIU) and hoist its 10th conference trophy.

On a free kick in the third minute, fifth-year midfielder Quintin Desaulniers curled a perfect shot around the VIU wall and into the net for the 1-0 lead.

Royals goalkeeper Matthew Miller stood tall 15 minutes later after VIU was given a penalty kick, denying Michael Heppelle's attempt to tie the match.

The Mariners eventually knotted it up the 29th minute, and the game was left scoreless at the end of regulation and overtime.

Douglas College eventually scored four goals on five shots on penalties, and held VIU to three goals from the spot to clinch the conference championship.

Queens crowned

Meanwhile, the women blanked Vancouver Island University (VIU) in the semis, 2-0, before toppling the top-seeded Capilano Blues to claim their third provincials banner in eight years.

Third-year midfielder Pak Tung Tsang scored in the 24th minute on a penalty kick, freezing the Blues goalkeeper with her boot.

Jessica Lau potted the Royals' second goal came in the 60th minute, firing the ball into the cage after it deflected towards the middle after her team's corner kick.

The insurance marker was courtesy of rookie forward Anna KIaver-Valdez flew down the right wing and fired a cross to the front of the net which deflected in off the goalkeeper’s hands.

Capilano's lone goal of the match came in extra time, but that's all the Blues would accomplish, giving room for Douglas College to win the PACWEST.

The Royals' women have yet to claim a CCAA championship in program history. Their best finish was a bronze medal in 2016.

For the men, Douglas College is looking to add a second nationals banner to its trophy case to go with the program's 2005 title. The green and white won silver in 2017 and 2021.