Well, that was ugly.
After being eliminated from playoff contention in the first of three games of a season-ending West Coast road trip, the Dinos men's soccer team was embarrassed in a pair of lopsided losses to close out the calendar.
After dropping a 3-1 decision to the University of Victoria Vikes Thu., Oct. 23 snuffed out any chance of a trip to the Canada West playoffs in Saskatchewan, the rookie-laden Dinos squad seemed to give up.
"Mentally we weren't in it," explained Dinos striker John Remmer. "After our loss to Victoria we were eliminated from the playoffs and on the weekend it looked like we didn't care. We did, we just didn't have our hearts in it."
Friday was a travel day for the Dinos, as they headed to the mainland for a pair of matches against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the Trinity Western University Spartans. Despite the extra time to collect themselves, the weekend, indeed the 2003 season, ended in embarrassing fashion.
A 4-0 trouncing at the hands of the Spartans Saturday did nothing but set the stage for the 8-2 massacre awaiting the soccersaurs the following day at UBC.
"UBC was really fired up because they needed to win that game to qualify [for playoffs]," stated Remmer, in regards to the lopsided result.
The 15-3 scoreline over the weekend puts a definite damper on what had been a promising season for an incredibly young Dinos roster. Entering the season carrying nine rookies, no one expected the Dinos to compete. However, this past weekend aside, they showed flashes of brilliance week-in and week-out. Were it not for mental errors expected of younger, inexperienced clubs, the Dinos would have been seriously challenging for the post season.
"We knew at the start of the season that this would be a rebuilding year," a solemn Remmer reflected. "Hopefully we can take the experience into the off season and come back next year, making playoffs and hopefully heading to nationals."
A disconnect between Head Coach Andy Gibbs and some of his players is an annual tradition with the Dinos men's side, however this season ended on a significant low note. No one likes losing, Gibbs included, and the bad blood and frustration boiled over on the season-ending road trip. Gibbs, who has only been able to muster four winning seasons in his 18-year tenure, may have to repair some rifts if he wants this rebuilding process to come to fruition.
"There's some resentment among second- and third-year players towards him because of how he acted in the last two games and some of the decisions he made," explained Remmer, who was stripped of his captaincy on the coast. "As an older player, it's my role to sort things out, so I am going to meet with him later this week because there's talk of players not coming back for next year.
"Hopefully we can keep this team together."