Braedan Willis, University of Victoria
The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team picked up a 5-0-shutout victory over the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Sept. 23. The win helps keep the Vikes in the playoff race in Pacific division of Canada West. With the loss, the Pronghorns remain winless in the 2018 season falling to an overall record of 0-7-1. Matteo Ventura and Nick Park each scored twice for the Vikes to help carry their squad to victory.
“Players were down after our loss to Calgary on Friday but we bounced back today on our home field and got a much-needed win,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson who is coaching in his 31styear.
“Nick came on in the second half and smashed home a couple goals for us, I was really impressed with his play,” added Wilson. “Matteo was lead recruit for us and he is continuing to prove that he can score goals. It’s nice know that we will have him here for five years.”
The 5-0-shutout loss for the Pronghorns does not accurately tell the story for goalkeeper Nolan French. The fourth-year Pronghorn kept Lethbridge in the game by making eight saves in the opening half, many of which were high-quality chances for the Vikes.
“Nolan played fantastic for us today. We didn’t give him much support in the second half,” said Pronghorns head coach Randy Bardock who is coaching in his 27thseason.
Ventura scored just three minutes into the game to give the Vikes an early 1-0 lead. Ventura picked up the pass from Ian Whibley, split the Pronghorn defenders and put the ball into the bottom left corner for the games opening score. Pronghorn keeper Nolan French kept his team in the game by stopping the next eight shots he saw in the first half. Ventura, Whibley and Xavier Araujo all had great chances to put Victoria further ahead but would go into the break with a narrow 1-0 lead.
After having trouble finding a second goal in the first half, the Vikes got on the board again in the 53rdminute when Park scored his first of two on the afternoon. Ventura scored his second of the game off a free kick in the 57thminute. A goal from Niko Cristante and a second from Park rounded out the scoring for the match, with the final score reading 5-0 in favour of Victoria.
The Vikes will stay at home for a make up game with UNBC on Thursday Sept. 27. Lethbridge will be travel to Edmonton to take on the Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday Sept. 29. All games can be watched live at canadawest.tv.
1 2: F
LET: 0 0: 0
VIC: 1 4: 5
LET: #88 Nolan French
VIC: #23 Niko Cristante