The girls from Douglas College had a stellar season in CCAA women’s soccer. They will host the national tournament next year. (Twitter/@RoyalsAthletics)

Royals gain valuable experience ahead of 2018 nationals

They finished fifth of eight teams after grueling schedule, will host 2018 CCAA soccer nationals

The Douglas College Royals faced the toughest challenge of their successful season on the other side of the country.

With four games in four days against some of the best women’s college soccer teams in the country, the Royals were pushed to their limits.

The Royals, with more than half of their players residing in Surrey or Delta, were crowned provincial champions for the second time in two years. That punched their ticket to nationals, where they travelled to Halifax to compete in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) women’s soccer championships.

They came into the tournament ranked as the fourth-ranked team in the country. Right away, they faced off against the NAIT Ooks, the third ranked team in the country.

SEE ALSO: Royals looking to Surrey talent ahead of nationals

They were able to beat them 1-0 in a matchup between two of the best teams in the tournament.

The Royals reward for winning their quarterfinal matchup was a date against the number one ranked team in the country, Élans de Garneau. The college from Quebec City came into the tournament as three-time champs.

“Our group gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen,” said head coach Chris Laxton. “We kept them frustrated all game long, and it took a good strike in the 82nd minute to beat us.

“That game got a lot of people talking about our team,” he said.

Élans de Garneau would end up winning the tournament for a fourth time. The Royals loss to the eventual champs set up a letdown game against the Algonquin Thunder, where they lost 2-0.

“It was tough to regroup after the game against [Élans de Garneau]. We came out flat and they were the better team in that game,” said Laxton.

SEE ALSO: Surrey’s star forward Mikayla Hamilton leading the way for Douglas College

After losing to Algonquin, the Royals faced off against the Grand Prairie Regional College Wolves, where Laxton’s team won 1-0.

It was the third time in a row that the Royals made it to nationals, and the team keeps gaining experience on the national stage ahead of next fall. The CCAA women’s soccer championships will take place on the Royals home soil in Coquitlam.

Laxton expects many of those players to return next year. Surrey forward Mikayla Hamilton told the Now-Leader previously that she’s eagerly anticipating the tournament next year.

“We gained a lot of experience and we know where we stand against the top teams,” said Laxton.

“That experience was really crucial for the rookies,” he said. “Six or seven of them hadn’t gone before. They got the experience I wanted them to get.”

After three straight years in nationals with an opportunity to host the event next year, Laxton had lots of positives to take away from the season.

“The message to the girls was just how proud we were of the season,” he said. “We’ve proven that we belong at this level. They did a great job of representing us, the school and B.C.”



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Trevor on Twitter

Douglas RoyalsSurrey athletesWomen's Soccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale businessman funds wells in Cambodia

Revive Washing in Clayton Heights donates three per cent of profits to charity

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old boy found, Surrey RCMP say

Landon Vangeel-Morgan was last seen 9:14 p.m., May 30 near 96 Avenue and 150 Street

COVID-19: Daily update on pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

Provincial Health Officer officially bans overnight kids’ camps this summer

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read