The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team had their confidence restored after putting away Fraser Valley 5-1 on Sept. 8 in Abbotsford, B.C. The Vikes improve their record to 1-2, while Fraser Valley are now 0-2 in the Canada West.
Third-year Vike Georgia Bignold scored two, while fourth-year striker Kiara Kilbey had a goal and assist in the team’s first victory. Aishy Shinomura and rookie MacKenzie Ringrose also got on the board as Puck Louwes logged just one save in the game. The Cascades scored late on a goal from Gurneet Dhaliwal.
“I think we wanted to come out here and show that we could score some goals and yesterday I actually thought we had a good performance going forward,” said Vikes head coach Tracy David about her team’s 0-2 start against heavy weights UBC and Trinity Western. “We just didn’t get the finish that maybe we were looking for so, I thought that tonight when we had chances we were able to finish them.”
The scoring got off to a start in the 14th minute when Caitlin Millham had a nice steal from a Cascades defender. Millham sprung Kilbey who fought off her defender and chipped a bouncing ball past Cascades keeper Joven Sandhu.
In the 17th minute the Vikes led a strong attack down the right side and a dangerous ball played in the box was unable to be cleared by Fraser Valley. Kilbey was able to tough it to Bignold, who turned and unleashed a bullet to double the Vikes’ lead to 2-0.
The Vikes continued to set the pace as Kyra Teetzen cut the ball inside to find an overlapping Shinomura in the middle of the park. The second-year midfielder forced her way past a Cascades defender and finished on a long-range and left-footed shot for a 3-0 Victoria lead, which remained at half time.
In the 68th minute, Kilbey picked up a loose ball and her change of speed allowed her to expertly slot the ball between the last two Cascades defender and on to the streaking feet of Bignold. Bignold took a touch to her right at pace and calmly delivered the ball in the bottom left corner, past Cascades keeper Andrea Perkovic, who subbed in at the break.
Fraser Valley managed to deny Louwes a shut out as a speedy right side attack allowed Kelsey Mitchell some space. Mitchell’s shallow cross found the feet of Dhaliwal at the near post and the slightest of touches beat Louwes to put Fraser Valley on the board, trailing 4-1, in the 74th minute.
The Vikes had one more security marker thanks to first year Ringrose. An initial shot in ricocheted off a Cascades defender and back out to the feet of Ringrose, who took one touch for control and another to volley and ultimately secure a 5-1 win for the Vikes.
“That gives us a little bit of confidence,” said David about the Vikes’ first win of the season. “When we start (the season) it’s tough with the opponents that we have as early as we always do and sometimes your confidence slides a little bit even though you might be playing well. You’re not getting the three points and you start second guessing yourself and wondering a little bit and today I think this was just a great performance for us. Our team can play and I think we might surprise a few people.”
The Vikes will regroup from their mainland road trip and return to the island for the next two weekends, hosting Calgary and Lethbridge on Sept. 14-15 and Thompson Rivers and UBC Okanagan on Sept. 21-22. All games will be broadcast live at canadawest.tv while tickets are available online at govikesgo.com/tickets.
The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team thought they might sweep their home-opening weekend but a goal in added time by Thompson Rivers’ Josh Banton left the teams level at 3-3 on Sept. 8 at Centennial Stadium. The game wraps up the fifth game in eight days for the Vikes, as both teams now sit at 1-2-2 records in the Canada West.
The Vikes earned two goals from second-year striker Ian Whibley, while third year Jack Hill also got on the board. First-year Vike Will Adams set up both of Whibley’s goal, while Jas Lallylogged three saves in the game.
“Ian is one of our fittest players and has done extremely well this year,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson on Whibley’s two-goal performance. “We are lucky to have him. His second goal probably should have been enough to get us through with three points but in the end we took a point and we have to realize we have played a lot of games in the last week. Regardless, the team held in there and we got the point.”
For the WolfPack veteran midfielder Mitchell Popadynetz earned two assists on goals by James Fraser and Thomas Lantmeeters. Banton was the final scorer of the game, as Thompson Rivers rallied back from a 2-1 Vikes lead that stood for nearly 65 minutes of the game.
“Mich is kind of the guy that our offence runs through,” described John Antulov, head coach of the WolfPack. “We need other players, not just Mitch, to really pick up that goal scoring. We need to find that attacking prowess in that offensive third. We haven’t been able to do that as much and we were a little disjointed today and hopefully we can fix up some of that moving forward.”
It was the tale of two halves as the Vikes dominated in possession for the first half starting with an opening goal in the eighth minute. Adams cut through midfield and sent a slicing through the WolfPack defence to find a racing Whibley. Whibley quickly cut the ball inside on his defender and drilled the ball low and hard past Thompson Rivers keeper Alex Ram for a 1-0 Vikes lead.
In the 20th minute, Matteo Ventura brought down a clear from the WolfPack and laid it off into space on the right side of the field. Hill looked to take a touch but instead quickly moved his feet around to get off a rifling shot high and past Ram from 30 yards out.
The WolfPack got on the board in the 31st on a well-worked passing play as a curling ball down the left side to Popadynetz allowed the reigning Canada West Player of the Year to draw out Lally and find an open James Fraser to cut the Vikes’ lead to one.
Moments after scoring, Thompson Rivers defender Banton unleashed a canon from 35 yards out but it rang off the post to keep the WolfPack from drawing equal. In the final minute of the opening half Ventura delivered a free kick in to the box that found the head of first-year Vike Logan Fisher. Fisher’s header beat Ram but the play was called offside and it remained 2-1 for the Vikes at half time.
Following the break there was a momentum swing in favour of the visitors. The WolfPack had a few open looks at goal but Jan Pirretas and Popadynetz each blasted a shot wide. Thompson Rivers nearly equalized on an open run down the left side from Jason Staiger. The fifth-year striker blazed down the left side but his low shot was steered wide by the fully sprawled finger tips of Lally.
It was a sign of what was to come as the WolfPack found the back of the net in the 65th minute on a cross from Popadynetz that found the head of Lantmeeters. The six-foot-two midfielder was left unmarked at the top of the six-yard-box and was able to bring the game even at 2-2.
Whibley’s heroics brought the Vikes ahead again after a timely and much-needed counter attack. Xavier Araujo beat two WolfPack defenders on the left side of the field and his run lead to a loose ball being picked up by Adams. The first year calmly cut the ball back to his right foot to slide it wide to Whible,y who buried a low show for his second goal of the game and, ultimately, a 3-2 Vikes lead.
Thompson Rivers were able to squeeze out a point from the Vikes thanks to a goal in stoppage time. A left-side cross from Emmanuel Aniogbe was volleyed in to the Vikes cage by Banton to leave the game as a draw at 3-3.
“It was disappointing because the players worked so, so hard for the 90 minutes and we gave away a silly one away at the end,” added Wilson. “Full credit to Thompson Rivers, though, as they were pressuring us and they pushed on and pushed on and ended up getting the equalizer.”