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

Just Posted

North Delta librarian retiring after 24 years in the community

Frances Thompson looks back on the changes she’s seen during her time at the George Mackie Library

Surrey’s Maho Harada settles for silver at B.C. Games

Harada loses the gold to Emily Sales in the pre-novice women’s figure skating

PHOTOS: Coldest Night of the Year raises $67,000 for homeless prevention

White Rock/South Surrey community gathers to support common goal

Reach Society officially opens new child centre in Delta

The Lois Jackson Kinsmen Centre has the capacity to help more than 2,000 children with special needs

Delta museum building reopens as community police station

The historic Ladner building has gone back to its roots after two years of renovation

The 2018 B.C. Games wrap up in Kamloops

The B.C. Winter Games comes to a close after a weekend of fun and excitment

Naval ship spills 30,000 litres of fuel in the Strait of Georgia

HMCS Calgary spilled fuel east of Nanaimo and Parksville on Saturday

B.C. boosts support for former youth in government care

More support coming for rent, child care and health care while they go back to school

Concert-goers unfazed by Hedley sexual misconduct allegations

Frontman Jacob Hoggard thanked fans from the ‘bottom of our hearts’ at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre

Control, agility and grace take gymnastics stage at the B.C. Games

Athletes often made the sport seem effortless during the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games

Original B.C. Games participant-turned-sensei officiating 39 years later

Langley judo sensei was a competitor at the inaugural B.C. Winter Games 40 years ago

Snowfall warning, travel advisory in effect for Coquihalla

Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt to receive 10 to 20 cm of snow Sunday

Police watchdog probes B.C. man’s taser death in alleged parental child abduction

Independent Investigations Office called in after one male dies

PHOTOS: Harnessing diverse abilities on the court at the B.C. Games

Basketball is one of two Special Olympics events at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Most Read