Think WAY back to the beginning. That is, the beginning of the Pandas soccer season, just two months ago. In early September. When the Pandas opened their soccer season in Victoria, and then in Fraser Valley. The team won against Fraser Valley and tied Victoria, a solid beginning to the year. Moreover, the team got to spend Week of Welcome in the mountains and on the beach, while most U of A students pouted about classes resuming and consumed copious amounts of beer in Quad’s Beer Gardens. Well, the team is returning to where 2012 all began: British Columbia. This time, it’s Vancouver.
Somehow, the Pandas are pitted against UBC in the first round of Canada West playoffs, which is a match-up fit for Soccer Gods and their Orville Redenbacher popcorn (we can’t forget the Lays chips sponsored by Lionel Messi, either!). At 5:30 pm on Saturday October 27, these gods will look down from the soccer heavens, flip on their new wide-screen plasma tv, check the Weather Network (because they’re hitting the town later in the evening and they gotta dress appropriately), flip through ESPN/TSN for the latest news on the NHL lockout, and then head to the Canada West video feed. Why the gods will watch via television/the internet – rather than descend in spirit to the actual soccer pitch in Vancouver – is beyond me. But hey, they’re watching the game.
This will be a close one. When the two teams played earlier this year, the match ended in a tie. The game was at Foote Field and it was windy. (But not as windy as the 70 km/h winds faced by the Bears in Lethbridge.) Both teams finished well in their conference, and both teams have a chance at winning nationals.
It’s a damn shame that some shitty team from the Maritimes will eventually make it to CIS Nationals instead of one of these teams, but whatever. A win versus UBC and the Pandas are one step closer to Nationals glory.