By Davie Wong
The Douglas College Royals had a rare opportunity when they kick of their season at home this past weekend against the Quest Kermodes. For the three rookies making their PACWEST debuts (Preet Thandi, Neeraj Braich, and Caitlyn Limmayog-Danielson) on the first team, it was a fantastic day, despite the heavy rain.
The Royals came out of the gates swinging, testing the Kermodes keeper multiple times before finding their gap. Caitlyn Limmayog-Danielson scored her first of her PACWEST career to open the scoring for the Royals, sliding the ball past Rikki Logan during the 20th minute. It would be another 20 minutes before the Kermodes could answer.
A long shot by Kelsey Green made its way right under the crossbar and past Royals keeper Alexa Gazzola, who got a hand to it but couldn't push it away. That equalize the game at one a piece headed into halftime. Thing slowed down dramatically in the second half, as neither team could solve the others backline. The game fizzled out to a draw, ending 1-1 for both sides. Alexa Gazzola would end the game with 8 saves on 9 shots and looked fantastic when called upon.
Next up were the VIU Mariners in a gold medal rematch. Michelle Wessa broke open the game with a powerful shot during the 19th minute. Samantha Kell added another on the board during the 40th and the Royals took a 2-0 lead into half time.
14 minutes into the second half, the captain, Kell would tack on another goal for her second of the game and season. The Mariners, back against the wall, were close to striking back with a breakaway opportunity. But it was Alexa Gazzola who came up huge for the team, shutting the doors on the Mariners, making five saves to clinch the Royals a 3-0 win against their island rivals.
The win improves the team's record to 1-0-1. They currently sit atop the PACWEST table with four points in two games. Next week, they take on the Capilano Blues away from home. It's sure to be an exciting match.