THE Capilano University men's soccer team scored in the dying minutes of their matchup against Kwantlen on Sunday afternoon, earning a 2-2 draw in dramatic fashion off a slick free kick from star Robbie Giezen.
The Blues, however, were somewhat muted in their celebration despite the late-game heroics. Outplayed for much of the game, Capilano was lucky to get the single point, said coach Paul Dailly. And while a tie is better than a loss, what the Blues really need right now is wins.
In fact, four games into the Pacwest 2012 season the Blues, silver medalists last year, are still looking for their first W. Capilano opened their season on the road, earning a 1-1 tie with Quest before falling 4-1 to Langara in week 1. Week 2 began Saturday with a 2-0 home loss against Douglas before Sunday's draw against the Eagles.
"Two losses, two ties to start the season so obviously not where we want to be," said Dailly. "We're going to have to just roll up our sleeves and get back to work on Tuesday. We've got a lot of things to iron out."
Against Kwantlen the Blues were on their heels right from the opening whistle. Less than two minutes in the Eagles concocted a partial breakaway and were unlucky to hit the side netting on a low shot. Ten minutes later it was 1-0 for the visitors after Capilano goalie Brando Ciccone spilled a catch and Kwantlen's Jagbir Sangha was there to pounce on the rebound for an easy goal. In the 25th minute it was 2-0 as Murtada Almatrood broke down the left side a slid a shot inside the far post. The Eagles had a chance to take a stranglehold in the 35th minute as Capilano was called for handball in the box but the penalty shot drilled the post and bounced out.
Needing a spark, the Blues found one in the final minute of the half when Giezen scored a weird one, beating the Kwantlen goalie in a race to the ball and then sliding it on goal. An Eagles defender scrambled to take it off the line, slamming into the post in the process as the ball skidded away. Ruling that the ball was either in the goal or stopped from getting their by a hand, the ref called a goal.
"It's either a goal or a red card," he was overheard telling the Kwantlen defender, settling on goal.
The second half saw better play from the home team as they pressed for an equalizer that finally came in the 89th minute. Giezen, central to nearly every attacking play made by the Blues, fired a quick free kick just inside the far post from 22 yards out for his second goal of the day.
A Seycove secondary grad, Giezen has come back to play with the Blues after starring with the team in 2008 when they won the national title and he was named BCCAA Rookie of the Year.
"He's a great player," Dailly said. "He loves to get on the ball, he's hungry, he wants to get on the ball as much as he can. Offensively he creates a lot of chances for us and he can score goals when he gets chances."
Dailly, however, wasn't happy with much else on the day. "First half we were asleep all over the field - we just didn't come to play. We were lucky not to be down three or four at that point," he said. "We made a few changes at the half and the guys in the second half came out with a bit more fire in the belly but at the end of the day it's still not good enough. We've got to play better."
With two weeks gone on a seven week season the Blues need to pick it up if they hope to reach their goal of getting back to the title game and winning it.
"For one, we're far too easy to score on," said Dailly. "Defensively we've been poor, that needs to be a lot better. Offensively we need to get on the same page a little bit and start creating more opportunities."
Capilano can't rely on Giezen to bail them out all the time, said Dailly. "Someone else has to step up. . . . If he's getting man-marked or double-teamed then we need to have other guys, everybody, step up and do their share and not just look for Rob to do everything."
Dailly said he's looking to veterans Garrett Traversey at forward, Taku Bradshaw on defence and Reid Alsop, who came in at goalkeeper in the second half against Kwantlen, to help lead the club.
"Hopefully if the young guys can see these older guys doing it than they'll just buy in and they'll want to do it as well," he said. "It's still early days here but as quick as we can we need to right ship, we need to start getting three points instead of one." The Blues are back at home for a pair of games this weekend.
"No time like the present," said Dailly about the team's search for its first win. "Next weekend is obviously a big one again. Starting on the Saturday game we need to get a better performance and a victory."
The goal for the season is still to get back to that provincial final and win, the coach said. "That's what it's all about - you want to be able to play in big-game opportunities like that. It's definitely my goal and I would hope it's each and every one of these guys' goal as well."
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The Blues host Thompson Rivers University Saturday with the women taking the field at 1 p.m. with the men to follow at 3 p.m. On Sunday the women kick things off at noon against UBC Okanagan with the men to follow at 2 p.m.