The mission was simple for the UVic Vikes women’s soccer team on Oct. 21 in a game against the Fraser Valley Cascades, win and they were assured both a spot in the Canada West quarter-finals and a home playoff game, anything less and their fate was out of their hands.
The Vikes responded to that challenge in style, pouring in five second-half goals to cruise to a 7-0 victory over their rivals from the Lower Mainland.
Emily Lieuwen and Rachel Baird scored goals in the first half while Kiara Kilbey, Stephanie Badilla Gutierrez and Natalie Cavallin added one goal apiece in the second half before Victoria Wulff rounded out the scoring with two goals of her own.
Puck Louwes recorded her conference-best ninth shutout of the season in the Vikes net while Emily Harold and Joven Sandhu combined to make six saves for the Cascades.
With the win, the Vikes end their regular season schedule with a record 9-1-4 and will watch the third-place finisher from the Prairie Division play the sixth-best team from the Pacific Division before playing the winner in a quarter-final match.
Those games take place on Oct. 27 and 29 at Centennial Stadium in Victoria, with an identical scheduled start time of 2:00 p.m.
The Cascades meanwhile, finish the season with a record of 4-6-4, good enough for a fifth-place finish in the Pacific Division. They won’t have far to travel for their playoff match as they will take on the fourth-place team from the Prairie Division just down the road in Langley, with the winner advancing to play the host Spartans in a quarter-final contest.
It was only fitting that on Senior Night at Centennial Stadium, two graduating athletes combined to give the Vikes the lead just six minutes into the game.
Badilla Gutierrez whipped in a cross and Lieuwen rose higher than any defender to get her head on the ball and power it into the net past a helpless Harold.
Elise Butler also played her final regular season game as a Vike and the stalwart left back ran rampant on the night, sending multiple crosses into the Cascades penalty area.
The Vikes doubled their lead just three minutes later when Baird was on the receiving end of some beautiful passing by the Vikes attackers. While her first shot was blocked by Taylor Nekic, Baird stuck with the play and deposited the ball into the net.
The Cascades had their best run of play throughout the rest of the first half as they fought hard to keep the Vikes off the scoreboard while mustering up a few chances themselves, thanks mostly to the creativity in attack shown by first-year midfielder Harneet Dadrao.
Any chance of a Cascades comeback was thoroughly snuffed out in a ten-minute span in the second half.
Kilbey got things started by putting away her own rebound to score her ninth goal of the season in the 61st minute.
Badilla Gutierrez put in a curling corner kick that eluded Sandhu to end up in the back of the net just three minutes later, before Victoria Wulff added a goal in both the 66th and 69th minutes to make it four goals in ten minutes for the home team.
Cavallin added her first of the year in the 77th minute to give the Vikes seven goals in the game, the most the team has scored in Canada West action since 2013.
Victoria (9-1-4) 2 5 7
UFV (4-6-4) 0 0 0
Victoria: #9 Emily Lieuwen
UFV: #10 Harneet Dadrao