The Kwantlen Eagles – both the men’s and women’s teams – are going to have to win on the road in the final weekend of league play to qualify for the PACWEST soccer playoffs.
After playing their final two home games in the 14-game regular season, the Eagles women are one point out of a playoff position while the men are tied for fourth place. And both will close out their schedule with games against opponents they are battling for a postseason berth.
The women’s team took four of a possible six points last weekend at Newton Athletic Park, playing to a scoreless tie with the Vancouver Island University Mariners on Saturday, then edging the Capilano Blues Sunday afternoon.
While the Eagles were unable to convert on several scoring chances against the Mariners, netminder Sukhleen Gill of Surrey earned her fourth shutout of the season, playing behind a solid back line led by veteran defender Brittany McNeill of North Delta.
Needing a win Sunday to stay in the playoff hunt, the Eagles played another 75 minutes of scoreless soccer before finally netting the only goal of the game to defeat Capilano.
Michelle Knowlan got credit for the goal, after her long ball was misjudged by the Blues netminder and found its way into the goal.
The victory left Kwantlen in fifth place with a 4-4-4 (won-tied-lost) record, one point back of the Quest Kermodes and three behind the Langara Falcons.
The Eagles play both teams this weekend, kicking off against the Falcons Saturday in Burnaby then visiting Squamish to face Quest on Sunday.
Kwantlen’s men’s team will also go into the final weekend of play looking to clinch a playoff position.
Currently tied for fourth place with Langara, the Eagles followed up Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Vancouver Island at Newton Athletic Park with a 3-1 win over the Blues.
Kwantlen came within minutes of a victory Saturday against the second-place Mariners, getting the majority of scoring chances in a scoreless first half before taking the lead early in the second.
Holy Cross High School graduate Dalton San came on as a substitute before the break, and scored the Eagles lone goal off a corner kick.
The lead held until the 88th minute, when the Mariners tied the game. Kwantlen then conceded the winning goal in injury time.
“Despite a strong game for us for the most part, it was a very disappointing outcome,” said Eagles head coach Ajit Briach, adding the game was lost due to “the last four to five minutes of undisciplined play from us.”
Playing a Capilano team that is already eliminated from postseason play, the Eagles got a jump on the Blues with two first-half goals Sunday.
Rylan Sangha of Richmond opened the scoring roughly 25 minutes into the game, then Jagbir Sangha (no relation) of North Delta made it 2-0 before the break.
The Blues got one back with 20 minutes to play, then Rylan Sangha added an insurance goal for the Eagles minutes before full time.
The men’s team will also play Langara and Quest on the road to bring league play to an end. At 5-4-3, Kwantlen is a point back of the third place Thompson University Wolfpack.