The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team defeated the University of Alberta Pandas 3-1 on Sept. 19, finishing off a successful weekend where the Vikes took maximum points at Centennial Stadium in a two-game home stand. The win evens the Vikes’ record at 2-2-1 in Canada West action and moves them into fourth place after starting the season winless through their first three games.

Veteran forward Emma Greig, second-year midfielder Emily Lieuwen and rookie Kiara Kilbey all notched their second goals of the season for the Vikes. Panda’s forward Karissa McNutt added consolation for Alberta in the 90th minute off a goalmouth scramble in the last seconds of the game.

Vikes’ goalkeeper Meaghan Storie stood strong between the pipes for the Vikes, stopping all 12 shots fired her way by the Pandas while her counterpart Jamie Misiaszek stopped eight of the 11 shots she faced.

Greig continued her strong start to the season with her second goal of the campaign in the seventh minute after capitalizing on an error from Panda’s goalkeeper Jamie Misiaszek. Panda’s midfielder Annalise Schellenberg passed back to Misiaszek while Greig did her best to chase down and pressure Misiaszek. As Misiaszek attempted to rush a clearance from the pressuring Greig, Misiaszek kicked the ball directly into the Vikes’ forward to allow Greig to walk the ball into the Panda’s goal for the 1-0 lead.

The Pandas almost answered back in the 20th minute after third-year midfielder Jamie Pasemko tried her luck from distance to test the fourth-year Storie. The shot was struck high and well on target, but Storie did well to get a touch on the ball and deflect the ball off the crossbar. Storie was able to calmly collect the rebound to defend the Vikes’ early lead.

After finding the scoresheet in Friday’s 6-0 win over the UNBC Timberwolves, Lieuwen added her second of the year in as many days for the Vikes this weekend in the 29th minute off a swung in corner from fourth-year midfielder Sarah Douglas. Douglas’ corner met Lieuwen’s head before she calmly directed it into the top corner off a Panda’s defender to double the Vikes’ lead to 2-0.

The two-goal lead was almost erased by the Vikes themselves a minute later in the 30th minute off a dangerous Panda’s corner. The ball was cleared initially but was sent back into the box and on to the foot of Vikes’ fourth year defender Lindsay Machin, who cleared the ball barely over her own crossbar.

The first half chances generated from the Pandas tested Storie, and she proved she was up to the test again in the 40th minute when Panda’s defender Madeline Smith-Ackerl curled a shot near post from the top-left hand side of the 18-yard-box. Storie reacted well to the chance, calmly collecting the hard-driven chance near the end of the second half.

The Vikes carried their 2-0 lead into half-time, leading in the shots department 7-4 over the Pandas.

The Vikes put the game out of reach in the 55th minute on their second set piece goal of the game in the 55th minute. After a foul by the Pandas, the Vikes won a free-kick and a great chance just outside the Panda’s box. Fourth-year midfielder Mia Gunter placed her free kick perfectly in the middle of the box for first-year forward Kiara Kilbey to notch her second goal of the year to make it 3-0 Vikes.

The Pandas pressed back in search of a spark in the 75th minute when a Vikes clearance out of their own box fell to the open foot of fifth-year forward Julia Ignacio, who placed her shot just wide of Storie and the far post.

The Pandas added late consolation in stoppage time through McNutt after the ball deflected to her as she was wide open in the middle of the 18-yard-box. Storie and the Vikes’ defenders committed to the ball on the first hit before the ball deflected to McNutt, who easily tapped in the Panda’s first of the match.

But the Panda’s late marker came too little to late as the referee blew his whistle off the restart to seal a 3-1 win for the Vikes over the Pandas.

This weekend, Sept. 18-19, provided a welcoming change for a Vikes’ offence that scored nine goals over two games. The outburst pales in comparison to their first three games of the season where they scored only one goal.

“It’s coming along, which is a start,” said Tracy David, Vikes’ head coach. “We got two goals off set pieces and one through the run of play. It’s unfortunate we gave one up the one goal at the end, otherwise we would’ve have a well-deserved clean sheet.”

“We still have to work hard. We still had moments. We allowed Alberta to come back into the game and we have to try to limit those chances. If they had more time, that one goal could’ve changed the momentum.”

It was a weekend for the midfield that continued to show its improvement in tonight’s game after scoring five out of the six goals in Friday’s 6-0 defeat of UNBC. Gunter and Lieuwen, two of the younger members of the Vikes’ midfield, scored their second goals of the season tonight after both hitting the back of the net on Friday.

“I thought we got a great display out of our central midfield,” said David. “I thought they worked hard for us tonight again.”

The Vikes travel to Kamloops and Kelowna next weekend, Sept. 26-27, for matchups with Thompson Rivers and UBC Okanagan. Meanwhile, the Pandas head home to begin a six-game home stand beginning with the Fraser Valley Cascades and Trinity Western Sept. 25 & 27.

ALB: 0 – 1 : 1
UVIC: 2 – 1 : 3

ALB: Karissa McNutt (90′)
UVIC: Emma Greig (7′), Emily Lieuwen (30′), Kiara Kilbey (55′)
ALB: #3 Annalise Schellenberg
UVIC: #9 Emily Lieuwen

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