Both soccer teams from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) all but clinched PACWEST playoff positions Sunday at the University of British Columbia with 2-1 victories over the Langara Falcons.
For the KPU Eagles men’s team, their record improved to 5-3-5 (won-tied-lost). In third place, they are four points up on both the Falcons and the Capilano Blues with two games to play. Langara and the Blues meet next week in Richmond, where a loss by either team will wrap up a playoff position for the Eagles.
The win by the KPU women left them at 4-5-4, in fourth position and five points up on the Quest Kermodes.
Going into the men’s game Sunday, the Eagles were just a point ahead of Langara in the standings after a 2-1 loss to the Douglas College Royals Saturday.
Anthony McCullough put the visitors up 1-0 in the 35th minute, before the Falcons drew even just before halftime. Dalton San netted the winner in the 76th minute.
“Great win today and a great team performance to battle back after heartbreak yesterday,” said Eagles head coach Srdjan Djekanovic, “Everyone was ready and focused today, the guys came out and left it all out on the field. We played well, defended well, and I’m very proud of them this weekend, it was well done.”
KPU was unfortunate not to earn at least a point Saturday against the Royals, after North Delta’s Jacob Starheim put the Eagles in front 1-0 on a penalty in the 63rd minute.
Douglas drew even 12 minutes later, then got the winner off a header in added time.
Going into the final weekend of the season, the Eagles will need just one point to be assumed of advancing to the provincial playoffs Oct. 25-26 in Squamish. The Eagles will host the last-place Quest Kermodes (3-2-8) Saturday at 2 p.m. at Newton Athletic Park, then visit the first-place Vancouver Island Mariners Sunday in Nanaimo.
The Eagles women had to come from behind last Sunday to edge Langara. After the Falcons went up 1-0 in the 20th minute, KPU responded seven minutes later when Lexie Gillette set up Sands Secondary graduate Megan Talaber. Gillette then notched the winning goal in the second half with less than 15 minutes to play.
“We are still in a playoff race. We haven’t clinched and it will come down to the last weekend,” said KPU assistant coach Joan McEachern said. “We needed to win this game today, and with the effort we put forward all 90 minutes it was a well-deserved win.”
The Eagles lost Saturday 1-0 to Douglas College in Coquitlam. They will also face 3-3-7 Quest in Newton on Saturday before playing in Nanaimo Sunday. KPU will need only a draw Saturday with fifth-lace Quest to clinch a playoff spot. They will face a tougher task Sunday against the first-place Mariners (10-1-2).