The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team ended their two-game home stand with a win on Sept. 26 thanks to three second-half goals in their 5-1 win over the Thompson Rivers WolfPack. The win helps the Vikes hold onto the top spot in the Canada West Pacific Division for another week with a record of 4-1-2 through their first seven games while the WolfPack drop to 1-3.
Three goals from fifth-year Vike midfielder Cam Hundal and Gorman’s fourth tally of the season helped lift the Vikes over the WolfPack, who entered tonight’s game playing only half as many games as the Vikes this season. The Vikes shot one-hundred per cent in the shots category, connecting all 14 of their attempted shots. Goalkeeper Noah Pawlowski stopped three of the four WolfPack shots on target.
An early marker from third-year forward Ryan Glanville nullified the opening goal from Hundal and second-half defensive substitute Mike Bennett didn’t help the cause after redirecting a goal into his own net to increase the Vikes’ lead in the second half. Goalkeeper Travis Froehlich was under constant fire from the Vikes, saving eight of the Vikes’ 12 shots on target including a penalty from Gorman in the 22nd minute.
“I thought we should’ve been ahead a few goals in the first half but still I thought we were determined and we played well,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson, who enters his 28thseason at the helm of the Vikes men’s soccer program. “We wanted to make sure we went into the bye with a win.”
Both teams started out on the offensive early and were both rewarded for it within a minute of one another. Cam Hundal finished notched his third goal of the season in the third minute on a breakaway past WolfPack goalkeeper Travis Froehlich to give the Vikes the early lead 1-0. Only a minute later, however, WolfPack forward Ryan Glanville carried himself through the Vikes defence on a winding run before scoring the equalizing goal. Vikes goalkeeper Noah Pawlowskigot a hand to the ball but couldn’t parry the ball away as it flew into the net to even the score 1-1.
The Vikes were offered a golden opportunity to restore their lead in the 22nd minute after Vikes’ midfielder Dominic Colantonio was brought down in the box by fourth-year WolfPack defender Stefan Shaw, who also earned a yellow card on the tackle. Fifth-year Vike Craig Gorman took the responsibility but would be stopped by Froehlich to keep the score level.
Colantonio would come close from open play during a dominant spell of possession for the Vikes in the 34th minute. Gorman did well to slip the ball past two WolfPack defenders to find Colantonio along in the box, but he didn’t get his entire body into the ball and rolled it into Froehlich for the easy save.
The Vikes and WolfPack carried their 1-1 tie into the first half break with the Vikes firing seven shots toward Froehlich with six hitting the mark. The WolfPack hit the target on half their shots, connecting on two out of four attempts.
The Vikes started out the second half on the front foot and would be rewarded for it in the 52ndminute thanks to Gorman’s fourth goal of the season. Hundal drove low on the WolfPack and beat his defender before finding Gorman open in the box to slot home the Vikes’ second of the night to restore the Vikes’ lead to 2-1.
Much like the start of the game, the third goal would be responded to immediately, but this time in favour of the Vikes. The Vikes extended their lead through Hundal – who created the Vikes’ second goal – with a drive past Froehlich in the box after rookie Isaac Koch used his pace along the goal-line to find space and fire in a pass into the box. 3-1 to the Vikes.
It would only get worse for the WolfPack in the 62nd minute after another great run by Hundal was redirected in, this time by their own defender Mike Bennett to increase the Vikes’ lead to 4-1.
At the final blow of the whistle, Hundal secured his hat-trick to finish the night at 5-1 for the Vikes. The Vikes’ wide play turned the game on its head in the second half through the speed of players like Hundal and Koch.
“We work on our wing play because some of our best players are wide players,” said Wilson. “We like to get the ball wide, take on our defenders and fire a lot of crosses into the box because we practice that kind of play every week in training.”
The Vikes will have a bye next weekend ahead of a big match-up with rivals the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday, Oct. 9 in Vancouver at Thunderbird Stadium. The WolfPack return to action next weekend, Oct. 2-3 against Trinity Western and Fraser Valley.
TRU : 1 – 0 : 1
UVIC: 1 – 4 : 5
TRU: Ryan Glanville (6′)
UVIC: Cam Hundal (4′, 55′, 93′), Craig Gorman (53′), Own Goal (61′)
UBCO: #23 Cam Hundal
UVIC: #1 Travis Froehlich