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VIU men’s soccer team, ranked No. 1 in the nation, wins two more matches

Mariners defeat both Douglas Royals and Capilano Blues by 3-2 scores
VIU Mariners player Hector Valdez keeps the ball away from a Douglas Royals opponent during a PacWest match Saturday, Sept. 25, at Merle Logan Field. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

The VIU Mariners men’s soccer team is undefeated and ranked No. 1 nationally after a hot start to the season.

The Mariners men defeated the Douglas Royals 3-2 on Saturday at Merle Logan Field, then got past the Capilano Blues on Sunday at NDSS Community Field, also by a 3-2 score.

Saturday’s result was significant to the M’s, as they battled back from an early 2-0 deficit to win the match late.

Taylor Arbour scored for VIU late in the first half and Hirotaka Nishikawa tied things up in the 74th minute. Grayson Chalifoux headed in the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute off a corner kick. VIU goalkeeper Ben Chamberlin made a couple of late saves to preserve the victory, noted a team press release.

The next day, in a match played in rainy conditions, Arbour again scored first for VIU, then Shun Takano scored two goals two minutes apart, one on a penalty kick and one on a “world-class long-range strike,” according to a team press release.

Chamberlin made eight saves in the win.

Takano was named PacWest Athlete of the Week for his efforts.

“All in all an excellent weekend for us,” said Larry Stefanek, Mariners coach.

The VIU men (3-0) are ranked No. 1 in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association.

VIU’s women (1-2) lost both their weekend matches, falling 1-0 to the Douglas Royals and then 5-2 to the Capilano Blues.

GAME ON … VIU’s soccer teams are on the road this coming weekend, Oct. 2-3, for matches against the Langara Falcons and Douglas Royals. Next home action is Oct. 17, when the Falcons visit NDSS Community Field for a women’s match at noon followed by a men’s match at 2:30 p.m.

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