The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team were unable to respond to two second-half goals as the Dinos dropped the Vikes 2-1 in a soggy downpour at Centennial Stadium on Sept. 21. The Dinos improve their record to 3-4-0, while the Vikes fall to 2-3-3.

Second-year Dinos goalkeeper Jake Ruschkowski did what was needed in the opening half to fend off several quality Victoria chances and give his team the confidence to come back. Goals from first-year forward Derek Brust and second-year midfielder Jeff Spolnik was all the Dinos needed to secure the three points.

For the Vikes, freshman Matteo Ventura scored the lone goal from the spot, his third set-piece goal of the season. Second-year forward Ian Whibley created the majority of the Vikes’ offensive opportunities but he was unable to find the back of the net. Jas Lally recorded eight saves in the game.

“We created enough chances to win this game and they didn’t create a lot,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson. “Our goalkeeper made two great saves in the first half to keep us in it and then we made two really poor defensive plays that cost us the game.”

In the opening half the Vikes and Dinos were square in statistics and the possession also reflected that. Both teams had six corner kicks, while the Vikes edged the Dinos in shots, 7-5. The Vikes generated more quality chances and forced three saves out of Ruschkowski.

In the seventh minute, Whibley nearly got the home team up early after he got some power on a header off a corner kick but Ruschkowski made the save.

The Dinos responded with back-to-back chances minutes later. A long ball through was cut back to the middle of the for Spolnik but his open look was blocked by Vikes defender Evan Libke. The ball bounced around until Spolnik was able to lay it off to Nathan Kimura but the resulting shot ricocheted off a sprawling Lally and then off the crossbar and out.

The teams continued to trade chances as Vikes midfielder Nick Park had a go from well out but the ball was punched away by Ruschkowski in the 22nd minute. Back in the other end, Brust’s deflection on a cross was saved by Lally after a confident Calgary build up down the right side.

In the 31st minute, Whibley forced a turnover from the Dinos back line and cut the ball back to Park in the 18-yard-box. Park was taken down by Dinos defender Dondre Bailey and it put Victoria at the penalty spot. Rookie Ventura made no mistake burying his second penalty kick of the season and third goal this season for a 1-0 Vikes lead.

Whibley had a chance to double the Vikes’ lead in the 42nd minute as he turned inside four Dinos defenders after a clever pass from Xavier Araujo. The outside-footed shot ricocheted off the outside of the Calgary net and the game remained 1-0 at half.

In the second half, Vikes defender Libke had a go at net off a free kick that was 30 yards out but the ball went well wide of the goal. The Vikes were slow to reposition back and Dinos fourth year Mark Bohdan fed a brilliant ball to a sprinting Brust. The rookie forward took one touch to control the ball and then calmly paced the ball low past Lally to tie the game 1-1.

The goal caused a dramatic momentum shift in favour of the visitors as the Dinos got on the board 10 minutes later after having generated two shots and a corner. Brust picked up his second point of the night as he drew two Vikes defenders and laid it off to Spolnik. The second year scored short side on Lally to lift the Dinos 2-1.

Vikes midfielder Sylvain Tahaoussi nearly tied the game up in the 82nd minute as he headed a Mark Kaiser cross towards goal but Ruschkowski made the close-range save. The Dinos continued to pressure the Vikes on route to protecting a 2-1 victory and their third win of the season.

“We are disappointed we didn’t come away with a win, let alone a draw,” added Wilson. “We didn’t defend well one versus one and at the end of the day that’s what killed us.”

“Now we play Lethbridge on Sunday and it’s another game we need to win and it’s up to us to be ready to play.”

The Vikes will now turn their gears towards hosting the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Sept. 23 at 1:00 p.m., while the Dinos will head to UNBC to take on the Timberwolves at noon. Both games will be available on pay-per-view at canadawest.tv.

SCORING SUMMARY
1          2          F
CGY:    0          2          2
VIC:      1          0          1

GOAL SCORERS
CGY: Derek Brust (50′), Jeff Spolnik (60′)
VIC: Matteo Ventura (31′)

GAME MVPs
CGY: #9 Derek Brust
VIC:  #8 Jack Hill

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