It was not 10 minutes into the game, and #1 seed the VIU Mariners had already scored to put them ahead of 4th seed Quest Kermodes. The early goal did not take Quest out of the game, as midfielder Ahmed Kamal answered back with a goal of his own to tie the game just before the whistle blew for halftime.
In the 55th minute, Kamal scored his second goal of the game, launching Quest into the lead. That lead was short lived, however, as VIU responded with an equalizer in the 61st minute.
The game went back and forth for the remainder of the half, and ended in a tie. In PACWEST, a tie must be decided by penalty kicks. The first round was tense and scoreless. The second round resulted in a tie, with Zach Roberts-Winter scoring for Quest, and Stephen Ewashko scoring for VIU. The third round again went without seeing a goal. In the fourth round of penalties, Vikram Puri scored to put Quest within reach of a guaranteed silver. VIU player Shun Takano scored a goal of his own to keep his team alive.
The fifth round saw former VIU player Yassin Nayel put Quest in the lead with his shot that sent the ball rolling past the keeper low and to his left. All the pressure was then on Mariners player Chris Marriman to keep his team alive. His shot missed, however, sending Quest to the gold medal game—the furthest the men’s team has ever made it in the tournament.
The following day, Quest took on the Douglas Royals in the gold medal game. The match went scoreless until an unfortunate error resulted in an own goal for Quest in the 34th minute. The scoreline remained 1-0 Douglas until the 60th, when Edris Najm doubled the Royal’s lead, putting them up 2-0. The final nail in the coffin was a late game goal scored by Tetsuya Yoshinaga in the 87th minute.
Despite being handed a disappointing loss in the final, individual Quest players were recognized for their accomplishments in the tournament. Sam MacDonald was named keeper of the tournament, and Ahmed Kamal was named midfielder of the tournament.
We look forward to seeing how the Quest team performs next fall. This year, Quest excelled in the postseason despite missing key players like Jeremy Monn-Djasngar, who was the team’s leading scorer last season. He will be returning to the line-up in fall 2018 coming off of a serious foot injury. Monn-Djasngar’s return, coupled with the continued development of the current freshman athletes has Quest poised to be a serious gold-medal contender next fall.