The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team needed two goals in the final minutes of the game to down MacEwan 3-1 in Edmonton on Sept. 16. The win seals an undefeated weekend, after the scoreless tie against Alberta yesterday, for the Vikes who were slow to get out of the gate this season. The Vikes now boast a 2-2-3 record in the Pacific Division.
Vikes forward Ian Whibley struck in the 87th and 89th minutes to turn what appeared to be a draw into three points for the visitors.
“He did very well,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson of Whibley who leads all Vikes with five goals this season. “He’s a bit of a horse. He’s super fit. He needs to work on a few things skill-wise, but he’s the type of guy you want on your team. He never stops running. He keeps defences under pressure by himself. I’m glad he scored the two goals. I gave him player of the game for us, for sure.”
Whibley took a long through ball, turned a defender inside-out and blasted the game-winner past MacEwan’s Seth Johnstone in the 87th before scoring an insurance marker from the left two minutes later on a play that had the Griffins waiting for an offside flag that never came.
Either way, it was a remarkable collapse for MacEwan, which had all the momentum after Everett Orgnero – with his second goal of the weekend – tied the contest 1-1 in the 82nd minute on a great finish of Liam Creek’s perfect through ball.
The Griffins lost shape on the game-winner and paid dearly for it.
In a game of swinging momentum changes, the goal came just three minutes after Vikes goalkeeper Jas Lally made a scintillating diving stop to rob Tyrell Leslie on a penalty kick. Leslie earned the opportunity after Christian Hernandez was taken down in the box, while attempting to head home a rebound off Zachary Rochat’s 30-yard free kick.
Lally finished with eight saves for the Vikes, while Johnstone had nine for the Griffins. Victoria out-shot MacEwan 20-14 (14-9 in shots on goal), but the run of play was pretty even, as evidenced by six corner kicks each.
Wilson was pleased with the result in a contest that could have gone either way as his team moves to 2-2-3 on the campaign.
“I give our team credit,” said Wilson, whose team started the season with five games in three days and has had their schedule face smoke, rain and now freezing temperatures. “They never stopped. I certainly give MacEwan credit for scoring the goal. With about six minutes to go it was a tie game.
“Full credit to us, we kept going, kept going enough to win and that really will help us move towards a play-off position.”
The Vikes will return to the island to prepare to host Calgary (2-4-0) Sept. 21 and Lethbridge (0-5-1) on Sept. 23. Both games are available on pay-per-view at canadawest.tv.
GMU: 0 – 1 : 1
VIC: 1 – 2 : 3
GMU: #8 Zach Rochat
VIC: #9 Ian Whibley